When I asked Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats if she’d like to get together for dinner with a few others while we are in Sydney for my writing class this weekend, she said she’d love to meet us and would I like a guest post. Lately, nobody offers me a guest post without wanting commercial links in there and I always say no thanks but this was different. I know how busy I am with life and the olds and everything else so I know how tough it would be to put a post for someone else together in a very short time but she did it and beautifully done too.
What a magical recipe developer and photographer she is. I’ll be seeing her in person tomorrow night! I asked more than once if she was sure and well, here’s her post. I can’t believe she fibbed!
Hiya! I’m Nagi from RecipeTin Eats. Super honoured to be here doing a guest blog for one of my favourite blogs!
Coming here to Maureen’s blog is like chatting to a friend. I often tell her that I gave up gossip magazines when I discovered her blog. Nowadays when I take my morning tea break, I make a cup of tea, pull up her site and read with amusement at the latest antics going on in her life.
She’s truly a gifted story teller and a one-of-a-kind blogger. There are very few writers in this world that can have me in stitches like she can. And I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to call her my friend.
So when I found out she and John were driving instead of flying to Sydney [this weekend], I immediately offered to do a guest post for her because I knew it
would be difficult to keep up regular posts while on the road. She accepted gratefully, but not after quadruple checking that it really wasn’t too much of a burden for me. “Maureen!”, I emailed after the 4th time she checked. “I wouldn’t have offered if I couldn’t manage it!”
“Are you sure?”, she replied, worryingly. “If it’s too much, it’s not one bit of a problem.” So to put an end to it, I told her a big fib. “Oh, I have plenty of recipes in stock. It will take me hardly any time to knock one out for you,” I replied, breezily.
Well, it wasn’t a total fib. I do have some recipes “in stock”. But after browsing through them repeatedly, I deemed none of them to be food that’s better
than…..well, you know…..
So I had a quick brainstorm. Something luscious, but not too “risky” because I have less than 24 hours to create something, shoot it, edit and write up a post on it.
Here’s what I came up with. I call it a Restaurant Style Pea and Prawn (Shrimp) Risotto. Because this is made using a restaurant secret – cooking the risotto in prawn stock made using the prawn shells and heads. The fib was totally worth it. Because THIS is food that I’m putting forward for
Maureen’s (endless?) search for food that’s better than….you know…
- 1lb / 500g large, raw, unpeeled prawns/shrimp (approximately 10 prawns)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- 2 cups boiling water (approximately)
- 2 to 4 tbsp unsalted butter (Note 2)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Peel the prawns and reserve the head and shells (Note 1).
- Use your fingers to coat the prawns in the garlic and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a deep fry pan (or pot) over high heat. Add the prawns and cook each side quickly until just cooked through (See Note 3 for how to tell a prawn is perfectly cooked). Remove onto a plate and loosely cover with foil.
- Add the prawn heads and shells and white wine into the fry pan. Simmer for to 3 minutes until most of the wine has evaporated.
- Add the chicken stock and water, bring to simmer then reduce to medium high.
- Crush the prawn heads and shells using a potato masher (to squeeze out all the flavor into the stock).
- Simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally mashing the prawn heads and shells into the liquid.
- Strain the stock into a small saucepan – you should have around 1 ½ cups (don’t worry if it’s more or less).
- Add the chicken stock and tomato paste into the saucepan prawn liquid, and mix to combine. Keep warm on a low heat on the stove (covered).
- Return the fry pan to the stove with the olive oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds, then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and just starting to turn golden.
- Add the Arborio rice and stir until the grains are coated in the oil and slightly translucent.
- Add 1 cup of Prawn Stock and turn down the stove to medium low. Stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Repeat with remaining Prawn Stock, 1 cup at a time.
- Add the peas, then add 1 cup of hot water and stir until the water is mostly absorbed. Repeat as necessary until the rice is firm but just cooked. It will keep cooking a bit when you take it off the stove.
- Stir through the salt, pepper, butter and most of the parsley, then remove from the stove.
- The risotto should be very saucy when it is taken off the stove because the rice will continue to absorb liquid while it is being served.
- Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining parsley.
straight. Break the head off with your right hand in a slight twisting motion, then gently pull it away and hopefully, the vein will be pulled out
as you pull the head away from the body. If the vein breaks, just bend the prawn and the flesh will pull apart and expose the vein. Use a skewer or small sharp knife and to "hook" under the vein, pull it up then use your fingers to gently pull it out. Then peel the shell off.
2. The more butter you use, the creamier the finish.
3. How to tell a prawn is cooked perfectly: A raw prawn is straight. A perfectly cooked prawn is a “C” shape. And an overcooked prawn curls
into an “O” shape and will be tasteless and rubbery.
4. Traditionally, parmesan is not used to garnish seafood risottos (or pastas). However, I say do as you please!!
Thank you so much Nagi! Charlie is sending a gift to Dozer. 🙂