Mediterranean-style Calamari Risotto

Ingredients

12-1/2 oz risotto rice (Carnaroli or Arborio)
2 white onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
7-8 ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and diced
9-1/2 oz small calamari (cuttlefish or squid), cleaned and prepared
salt as desired
freshly ground pepper as desired
5 tbsp black olives, deseeded and cut into strips
fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3/4 cup white wine
2 cups fish stock
1-1/4 cups hot water
4-5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp butter

Method

  1. Heat 4-5 tbsp olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and the garlic until translucent. Add the carrots and saute briefly.
  2. Stir in the rice. When the rice has absorbed all the liquid, add the white wine and heat until evaporated. Then add 1 ladleful of fish stock and simmer over a medium heat, stirring, until it is almost all absorbed. Keep adding the fish stock in this way until it is all used up. Then continue with water (you may need more than indicated in the recipe).
  3. Stir in the cuttlefish and tomatoes, and simmer the risotto, stirring, until the rice is cooked but ‘al dente’. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the basil, olives and 2 tsp butter and serve immediately. This dish goes well with a glass of red wine.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Cuisine

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Chinese-style Eight-treasure Soup

Ingredients

4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tblespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion
2 oz Chinese bacon or ham, cut into thin strips
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
8 oz chicken breast fillet
1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
12 small raw prawns, peeled and deveined
6-1/2 oz firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1-3/4 oz sliced bamboo shoots
3-1/2 oz spinach, chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Squeeze dry, reserving the soaking liquid. Discard the woody stalks and cut the caps into quarters.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oils and swirl to coat the side of the wok, then add the ginger, spring onion and bacon. Cook for about 10 seconds before adding the stock, soy sauce, rice wine, mushroom liquid and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the chicken. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and poach the chicken for 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock and, when cool enough to handle, shred the meat.
  5. Return the stock to the boil, add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the prawns, tofu, bamboo shoots, spinach and chicken meat to the wok and cook over low heat for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with the extra spring onion.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Chinese bacon has a dryish flesh with a strong flavour very much like prosciutto. You can substitute prosciutto.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook

Steamed Mussels with Creamy Fennel Sauce

Ingredients

4 lb mussels, scrubbed, beards removed
1 small carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 small fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2-1/2 cups fish stock

Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp fresh mixed herbs, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Clean the mussels, removing the beards, and discarding any shells that open when tapped. Place the mussels in the base of the steamer with the carrot strips.
  2. Finely shred half of the fennel and add to the pan with the garlic and stock. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 5 minutes.
  3. Discard any unopened mussels and remove all the mussels and vegetables from the stock with a slotted spoon. Keep warm.
  4. Measure up 3/4 cup of the stock and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the wine, herbs, black pepper and cream. Pour in the 3/4 cup of fish stock.
  7. Finely chop the remaining fennel and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Spoon the mussels into warmed serving dishes and top with the vegetables. Serve with the wine and cream sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Steam Cuisine

Shrimp Barley Risotto with Chili Gremolata

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium brown onion (150 g), chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups (300 g) pearl barley
4 cups vegetable stock
500 g peeled uncooked medium shrimp
45 g baby arugula leaves
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
160 g labne cheese

Chili Gremolata

1 Tbsp finely grated lemon rind
1 fresh long red chili, seeded, chopped finely
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. To make chili gremolata, combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens.
  3. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until coated.
  4. Add stock, bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until barley is almost tender.
  5. Add shrimp. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  6. Add Parmesan and arugula. Stir to combine.
  7. Serve risotto topped with labne cheese and chili gremolata.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Everyday Power Foods

Salmon with Whisky and Brown Shrimp Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 lemon
4 x 125 g skinless and boneless salmon fillets
4 large slices smoked salmon
generous knob of butter, softened
salt and pepper

Sauce

2 tsp butter
3 tsp plain flour
4 tbsp whisky
200 ml creme fraiche
2 tsp horseradish sauce
a generous squeeze of lemon juice
100 g peeled raw small shrimp
few dill sprigs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cut three slices from the lemon and then cut each slice into quarters. Lightly season each salmon fillet and wrap with a slice of smoked salmon.
  3. Dot three dots of butter over the top of each fillet and place a quarter slice of lemon on each. Place each salmon fillet on a square of greaseproof paper and wrap loosely, scrunching up the ends so that it is in its own wee parcel.
  4. Place on an oven tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. To make the sauce melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add the whisky and keep stirring over a very low heat so no lumps form.
  6. Add the creme fraiche, horseradish and lemon juice (to taste) and stir well until you have a smooth sauce.
  7. Add the shrimp and cook until done. Season the sauce to taste and if it needs thinning, add a little more wonderful warming whisky.
  8. Just before serving, stir a few dill sprigs into the sauce. Unwrap the salmon parcels and serve with the sauce spooned over.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: My Family Kitchen