I am always trying to find a quick way of producing delicious suppers that please the teenagers but are easy to knock up in the time I have after work and before the hunger pangs kick in. Fish and shellfish meet that goal and risotto is not difficult to prepare if you have a good stock in the freezer. In this case I had some chicken stock which I had made from a roast chicken carcass a few weeks ago (recipe to follow soon !). Make sure you use the best parmesan you can afford and freshly grate it.
25g chopped shallots (I use frozen)
A few strands of saffron
Slug of olive oil
Arborio rice measured up to the 350ml level in a plastic jug
50 ml white wine
600 ml fish, vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
150g raw shelled prawns (cleaned and slit down the back half way)
1 clove garlic
Slug of olive oil and a knob of butter
Heat your oil and butter in a medium saucepan. When its hot add the shallot and the saffron, sweat until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and cook until the tips of the rice are clear (see my post on Blood red rice for photos). Heat the stock in another saucepan. Add the wine to the rice and cook on a medium heat until it is all absorbed. Start adding the stock a ladle at a time, stirring and letting it bubble away until all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle.
When all the sock is used up, stir the rice, add the parmesan – then taste and adjust the seasoning and adding more parmesan if you think it needs more flavour. Remember parmesan is quite salty so it won’t need much salt. The rice is done when it is still a little soupy, the rice has a bit to it – it should not be mushy. Once the rice is done, turn off the heat and leave it covered while you prep the prawns.
Heat the butter and oil in a small frying pan, when its hot add the garlic and fry gently. Season the prawns with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat, add the prawns and fry quickly – no more than a few minutes – turning regularly. They are ready when the prawns have turned from grey to pink.
Spoon the risotto into a deep dish, grate over some parmesan, place the prawns on top and pour over some of the garlic butter, scatter with parsley. Serve to enormous applause from the audience.