The theme for week 11 was mixed, and here's my recipe, 5 or so days late! Things have been a bit hectic lately.
This week I decided to attempt a 'fancy-pants' dish from Emmanuel Stroobant's Vine Dining: White. I purchased this book recently, and it's fascinating. Each recipe has a picture, but it's of all the individual components in a very artistic style, not of the completed dish. Many recipes use luxury ingredients, but there are plenty more with ingredients that are within easy reach.
I chose a risotto-based dish, as plenty of mixing/stirring is required to make risotto! Also, it has quite an interesting mix of ingredients.
I found the dish a little challenging. The basic risotto was easy, but frying into cakes wasn't - unfortunately, as the crispy bits of risotto that I did taste were delicious! I think it's easily overcome, but more about that later.
2 tbs butter
2 peeled and chopped shallots
250g risotto rice, washed and drained
700mL chicken stock
1 tbs grated parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbs olive oil
8 peeled and de-veined large prawns
1 tbs white miso (I forgot to buy this! So substituted with kecap manis to give a bit of colour and depth of flavour. It's not the same, I know, but was the best I could come up with!)
1 tbs mirin
1 tsp sugar
Black Olive Tartare
4 tbs pitted and diced black olives
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs chopped italian parsley
1 tsp chopped red chilli
2 tbs shaved parmesan
To cook risotto, heat butter and fry shallots in a pot.
Add rice and stir for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
Bring chicken stock to the boil and add slowly to the rice, ladle by ladle.
Stir constantly for 15 minutes until rice is cooked and al dente.
Finish with cheese and pepper.
Lay 30x60cm of aluminium foil on a bench, brush with butter and pour risotto on.
Roll up and leave on bench for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Use a sharp knife to slice through foil, resulting in risotto cakes (beware little shards of foil!).
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry each side of the cake for 3 mins (this was really hard - mostly because I don't have anything non-stick - most of my cakes fell apart so I didn't cook them for as long as I should have! Non-stick seems to be crucial, also beware spitting oil).
Marinate prawns with combined miso/kecap manis, mirin and sugar.
Place prawns on a tray and cook at 220ºC for 2-5mins.
Combine black olive tartare ingredients.
Serve cakes with tartare and prawns.
Garnish with parmesan and salt and serve.
The end result was pretty good! A great range of textures with the crunchy risotto edges, firm prawns and soft risotto. The components were all subtly salty which worked together well. I don't know if I'll cook this exact dish again, but I've learned while cooking it, and will certainly use this as inspiration.