Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sam, my sister in law popped over last night for tea. Thought I’d do a risotto because it’s easy and you can make it out of pretty much whatever you had in. This one was driven by the fact I had half a squash in the fridge, but I ended up buying some extras to make it work…
Half a butternut squash (although it would work well with any pumpkin, sweet potato, or even Swede)

For 3 people:

1 onion
3 fillets of salmon
pinch of saffron
stock (I used a prawn stock cube, but any stock would be fine)
Arborio rice (the only rice that works for risotto – although I have used pudding rice successfully in the past)
French beans
1 clove of garlic
balsamic vinegar
a little chili

add the saffron and a little chili to the stock ( it’s important not to overdo it on the chili as the saffron and squash are very subtle flavours and easily overpowered). Chop the onion and cook in a large pan with some olive oil until transparent. Add the uncooked rice and stir to coat the rice in oil. Start to add the stock bit by bit, stirring it into the rice. Add the squash (chopped very small) and continue to stir, adding more stock if you need to until everything is cooked. The texture should be a little like porridge. Add a little balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.

Meanwhile, just cook the beans (I just put them in the microwave for 2 minutes with a little water) and stir in finely chopped garlic and butter.

Cook the salmon skin side down on a very hot griddle. Don’t move them around, just let them cook until the skin becomes crispy and they move easily, then turn them over and cook on the other side until they’re just cooked (I left mine slightly under-cooked as they were very fresh. Overcooked salmon is awful). A lot of people say there’s a big difference between farmed salmon and wild salmon. Personally I think there’s a bigger difference between salmon bought fresh that day and salmon that’s been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days.
I try to buy farmed fish if I can – it’s more sustainable.

Finally, put the risotto in a bowl, top with the beans and then the salmon. Finally add a sprinkle of olive oil. The sweet, subtle flavours and the soft textures work really well together.

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