Monday, July 14, 2008

Prawn and Samphire Risotto

Sat 12 July 2008

Going to the expense of buying the dressed crabs for the crab linguine meant that I was able to make a lovely fresh stock from the left over shells. Because crab is quite strong it was very simple: the two shells, water, a carrot, an onion, a couple of bay leaves and some peppercorns.

While most of the stock is now in the freezer in an ice cube tray, the balance was used to make Saturday's supper. We bought prawns and massive scallops at the market, and added a handful of samphire to the mix.

For someone who spends so much time on the internet it didn't occur to me that I should google what to do with this new (to me) green vegetable. So I rinsed it, blanched it and refreshed it with cold water. Quite a result. Sort of like salty asparagus.

I put together a simple risotto: an onion finely diced and sweated off in (unsalted) butter, with a finely chopped clove of garlic. Then I added 150g of arborio rice (enough for two), and after I'd ensure a good coating of butter on the rice, started adding the hot stock a spoonful at a time and stirring patiently.

The prawns (we bought green but peeled and deveined tiger prawns) and scallops were very lightly fried off in butter that had melted with a crushed clove of garlic in the pan.

When the risotto was almost done, the prawns were stirred through to finish cooking, and the samphire was added right at the end. The scallops sat atop the finished dish.

On this occasion, it was not an entirely successful rendition of what should be a lovely dish. We were hungry and rushed the rice, leaving it just a little too toothsome for our liking. We cooked the scallops too early, so they were a little cool (although the hot rice soon warmed them) and I could have been far more generous with the samphire (I was worried about it all being too salty). But these are all just tiny blemishes on an otherwise light and fresh risotto.

To drink: a Torrontés from Argentina, purchased from Leeds' new wine shop, Latitude. Down on The Calls, it's the new incarnation of Hoults. Santa Ana Eco 2007 pressed a lot of buttons for me. A predominantly floral nose with stone fruit which really shone on the palate, cut through with lime. Hints of green fruit at the edges, refreshing acidity and very good length. It balanced nicely with the delicate shell fish in the risotto. Having said that, Andy was decidedly ho-hum about it, so we won't call it a universal crowd pleaser. But for £7.99, it's more than worth a try!

tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Stumble Upon ToolbarStumble It!


Blogger Jacob Gaffney said...

I just had some Samphire while camping on some cliffs this weekend.

I quite like it, we had it with BBQ sea bream...

Nice to see its versatility...

3:26 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Considering that everything tastes better when you're outdoors (not to mention when it's BBQed!) that must have been great!

I'll definitely be using (& no doubt experimenting) with samphire again!

12:27 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home