Monday, 22 July 2013

Crab Risotto

Sometimes a risotto can seem like too much hard work. Standing in a hot kitchen baby-sitting a pan for 45 minutes, slowly adding stock and stirring, stirring stirring all the time.
Sometimes, though it can be a pleasure. A glass of crisp white in one hand, phone balanced between chin and shoulder, catching up on the gossip with Mum. The kitchen is visited by a cool breeze from the garden, where the boys work hard outside in the sun building up an appetite, the radio hums gently in the background, music and aromas float lazily around the house and slowly you add the stock stirring, stirring stirring all the time.

Crab season runs from April to October, perfect timing for crab sandwiches on the beach. It pays to get your crab from a sustainable source that handpicks the meat, machine picking will have a negative impact on the taste, mine came from a chap called Alan from the crystal clear waters of the Cornish coast :)

This recipe is from Michelin starred chef Simon Hulstone who heads up the kitchen at The Elephant Brasserie in Torquay. His kitchen is a 30 second walk away from the marina where I go crabbing when I'm in the area, so if anyone knows how to prepare fresh British seafood it's this man.

Randomly he is also creating some unique popcorn flavours for the BA silent picture house event I am attending this week, small world :) Take My Breath Away Popcorn - a combination of fiery chili and San Diego spices is what I will be eating from his selection, can you guess the film?

Anyway, to the recipe!

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 2 dressed crabs, brown and white meat separated
  • 1.25l of Fish stock
  • 25g of butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped and crushed
  • 200g of risotto rice
  • 70ml of dry white wine
  • 1 knob of butter
  • salt
  • pepper

To serve

  • 4 tbsp of crème fraîche
  • 1/2 bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt

- Place your fish stock in a saucepan and keep it simmering gently 

- Melt butter in another pan and add the garlic, shallots and a pinch of salt. Fry gently on a low heat to soften for about 5 minutes.

- Add the rice and wine and begin the stirring :)

- Add the stock one ladleful at a time, allow the stock to be absorbed in the rice fully before adding more. Stir, stir, stir :)

-Keep stirring in the stock and checking the seasoning. The rice is cooked when it is tender and plump but the centre of the grain retains a firmness

- When the rice is cooked stir in the crème fraîche and brown crab meat. Then stir in the lemon and chives.

- Serve with the reserved white meat on top of the risotto 

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