Friday, October 3, 2008

Scallop Risotto

Try to buy fresh scallops for this Italian dish, which taste much better than frozen ones. Fresh scallops come with the coral attached, which adds flavor, texture and color. Recipe serves 3-4.


About 12 scallops, with their corals
2 ounces (60 g) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Pernod
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
4 cups simmering fish stock
Generous pinch of saffron strands, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons double (thickened) cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Separate the scallops from their corals. Cut the white flesh in half or into 3/4 inch (2 cm) slices.
2. Melt half the butter with 1 teaspoon oil. Fry the white parts of the scallops for 2-3 minutes. Pour over the Pernod, heat for a few seconds, then ignite and allow to flame for a few seconds. When the flames have died down, remove the pan from the heat.
3. Heat the remaining butter and olive oil in a pan and fry the spring onions for about 3-4 minutes, until soft but not browned. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the rice is coated with oil and is beginning to turn translucent around the edges.
4. Gradually add the hot stock, a cupful at a time, stirring constantly and waiting for each cupful of stock to be absorbed before adding the next.
5. When the rice is very nearly cooked, add the scallops and all the juices from the pan, together with the corals, the saffron milk, parsley and seasoning. Stir well to mix. Continue cooking, adding the remaining stock and stirring occasionally, until the risotto is thick and creamy.
6. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the double cream and cover. Leave the risotto to rest for about 3 minutes to complete the cooking, then pile it into a warmed bowl and serve.

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