Thursday, December 25, 2008
Fresh root ginger and coriander add a distinctive flavor to this dish, while the green chilies give it a little heat. The chilies could be omitted for a milder dish. Recipe serves 3-4.
2 pound (1 kg) fresh mussels
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely sliced
1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh root ginger, grated
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
3 3/4 cups simmering fish stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons double (thickened) cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Scrub the mussels, discarding any that do not close when sharply tapped. Place in a large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of the wine and bring to the boil. Cover the pan and cook the mussels for 4-5 minutes until they have opened, shaking the pan occasionally. Drain, reserving the liquid and discarding any mussels that have not opened. Remove most of the mussels from their shells, reserving a few in their shells for decoration. Strain the mussel liquid.
2. Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the chilies. Continue to cook over a low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, then stir in the ginger and fry gently for 1 minute more.
3. Add the rice and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring, until the rice is coated in oil and becomes translucent.
4. Stir in the reserved cooking liquid from the mussels. When this has been absorbed, add the remaining wine and cook stirring, until this has also been absorbed. Now add the hot fish stock, a little at a time, making sure each addition has been absorbed before adding the next.
5. When the rice is about three-quarters cooked, stir in the mussels. Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper. Continue adding stock to the risotto until it is creamy and the rice is tender but slightly firm in the center.
6. Remove the risotto from the heat, stir in the cream, cover and leave to rest for a few minutes. Spoon into a warmed serving dish, decorate with the reserved mussels in their shells, and serve immediately.