Christmas last year was a great success. Thanks to my team of sous chefs, I had no problems in the kitchen at all although we were serving 10 guests. For lunch, we decided to do a risotto - in hindsight, a damn good dish to make if you're serving a large group of people.
I made a simple chicken stock using chicken carcass, onions and carrots earlier that morning. Then, it was all a matter of stirring the risotto until it was cooked to al dente, creamy consistency. The frozen Rougie foie gras was a pleasant discovery at our usual "meat shop", which we thought would be really nice topped on the risotto. Cooking foie gras is surprisingly very easy (expertly done by Hubby)- just sear in a hot pan from frozen, then finish it off in the oven for 6-8 minutes. The Unc did a great job cooking the Hokkaido scallops - he got such a beautiful sear on them!
Super pleased with the risotto we made - it was creamy, rich and luscious. Not to mention super luxurious as well! Everyone was singing praises for it, so that made me one very happy chef :)
Risotto with porcini mushrooms, seared scallops and foie gras
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes (+ 1 1/2 hours for stock)
400g arborio rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp butter
2l chicken stock
20g dried porcini
50g Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 x 50g frozen foie gras
Parmesan / Parmigiano Reggiano
For the chicken stock
2 chicken carcasses
2 large onions, quartered
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1. In a large pot, place water, chicken carcasses, onions and carrots and bring to the boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, lower to low heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Skim off any oil and scum. Season with salt. Simmer on very low heat while you cook your risotto.
2. Rinse the dried porcini mushrooms in lukewarm water, then place in a small bowl and fill with hot water. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes, then drain. Roughly chop and set aside.
3. In a large non-stick pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Increase heat to high, then add the rice. Using a wooden spoon, stir the rice with the onion, making sure that the grains are coated with the olive oil/butter until slightly translucent and the rice starts to crackle, for about 2 minutes. This process is called tostatura. It helps the rice absorb the stock later.
5. Turn the heat down to medium low, and add enough stock to cover the risotto, about 1 cup. Keep stirring the risotto constantly as stirring massages the starch molecules out of the rice, hence creating a rich, creamy texture.
6. Allow the stock to be absorbed before adding more stock to the rice. Keep adding small amounts of stock (1/2 cup at a time) to the rice until the rice is soft but still has a bite to it (al dente). This will take about 20-30 minutes. Taste the risotto rice occasionally to check if it's ready. If you run out of stock before your rice is ready, you can add boiling water as a substitute for the stock.
7. When the rice is almost ready (95%), lower the heat, then add the porcini mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Take the pan off the heat and add the Parmesan into the rice (the mantecatura process) as well as 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
8. In the meantime, heat a frying pan until very hot over high heat. Once the pan is very hot, turn down to medium heat then add the frozen foie gras to the pan and cook without fat for 30 seconds - 1 minute each side, until golden brown. Place in a 180C (no fan) oven for 6-8 minutes. Season with salt. Cut each foie gras into half.
9. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil over high heat until very hot. Pat the scallops dry with kitchen towel and season with salt. Once pan is very hot, add the scallops and quickly sear, depending on the size of your scallops (about 1-2 minutes). Remove once cooked, and repeat until all scallops are cooked.
10. To serve, place risotto onto a plate, then top with scallops and half a piece of foie gras. Garnish with lemon cress and more shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.
Note: You can start cooking the foie gras 8 minutes and the scallops 5 minutes before the risotto is ready.