Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The comfort of Risotto

DSC00639 (1200x877)Although it was midafternoon, the interior of the train back from Amsterdam was dim and quiet.  Rain spattered on the windows, people read magazines and dozed in the swaying car.  I tapped on my phone between articles in the Economist.

I’m in a mood for Risotto: what sort should I make?


Fish risotto always has a lemon squeeze or a sweet glaze.  I want something earthy.

Add squash?

Mushroom, maybe spinach?

I flicked through the Saveur and BBC Good Food sites. Lots of squash and mushroom; little salmon.  Still, with a bit of Dubbel…it might work…blend two recipes…get the right stock.

…and it worked really well.


DSC00642 (1200x900)Salmon, Mushroom, and Spinach Risotto  (Serves 2)

  1. Rinse 250 g salmon fillet and marinate in dark (dubbel) bier and 1 tsp lemon juice (or white wine DSC00645 (1200x900)vinegar) for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 25g butter in a large deep frying pan. Add one chopped medium onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in 140g brown chestnut mushroomsDSC00646 (900x1200), sliced, and two small cloves garlic, crushed and chopped, and a sprinkle of pine nuts.  Cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in 140g arborio rice to coat with the onion and mushroom mixture. Pour in 150 ml dry (Riesling) wine and cook over a moderate heat for about 3 minutes, stirring from time to time, DSC00647 (1200x900)until the wine is absorbed.
  4. Transfer the salmon and marinade to a pan and poach until the liquid is almost gone.  Add 1 tbsp butter and brown on DSC00648 (1200x900)both sides, cooking until very slightly dry so that it easily flakes.
  5. Reduce to a gentle heat. Add 125ml of 500  ml of no-salt vegetable stock and cook for about 5 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Pour in a DSC00649 (1200x900)further 125ml stock and continue cooking until absorbed. Repeat with the remaining stock, until it is all absorbed and the rice is creamy and tender.
  6. Season to taste: 1 tsp thyme,  a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  DSC00650 (1200x900)Add 15g shaved parmesan.  Chop 1-2 cup spinach leaves and add to the risotto (can be left whole). Cover and cook gently for 4-5 minutes until the spinach has just wilted.
  7. Chop the salmon filetDSC00651 (1200x951) into chunks and stir into the risotto.  Serve immediately sprinkled with parmesan and fresh crusty bread, accompanied by dry white wine and a candle.

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