Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Recipe: Mushroom risotto with seared scallops and samphire

Since the beginning of our Scotland trip, we had been on the look out for fresh scallops at the supermarkets and at the fishmongers. We finally got our hands on some on the third week of our holiday.

Baby D then suggested that I cook risotto to complement the scallops (so proud that my son can think of such a clever pairing). I also spotted some samphire (saw it on TV, heard about it tons of times, never tried it, but apparently it goes very well with seafood), so grabbed a box and headed home to start on my risotto.

Mushroom risotto with seared scallops and samphire

During this trip, Baby C showed a lot of interest in the kitchen, which pleases me a great deal. She would come into the kitchen, stand and watch me, and give me a hand at what I am doing.

For the stock, I used a chicken stock pot instead of making the stock from scratch (time-saving on holiday) and it was great! So handy, that I got a couple to bring home. Furthermore they are free from artificial colours, preservatives, flavour enhancers as well as being gluten-free with no added MSG... and most importantly it tastes great... so yay!

There was carnaroli rice available at the supermarket here in UK, so I got that as it is said to keep its shape better than other rice during the slow cooking process required for making risotto. Of course if you cannot get carnaroli, arborio works just fine. Once the risotto is ready, I stirred in sauteed mushrooms (a mix of chestnut and white button mushrooms), Parmigiano Reggiano, and topped it with sauteed samphire and seared scallops. A sea vegetable, the samphire is simply sauteed with some oil; no seasoning is required as it is already salty in itself. It has a crisp texture, and indeed pairs very well with seafood, not to mention it looks beautiful as a garnish too.

Samphire - adore it!

An absolute stunner! Totally enjoyed this.... definitely a great dish to be serving this festive season.

Watch this recipe video that I made :)

Mushroom risotto with seared scallops and samphire
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 5-6

300g carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tbsp butter
1- 1.5l chicken stock
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 pack white button mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly
1/2 pack chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pack samphire (70g), washed
15 fresh scallops

1. In a large non-stick pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.

2. Increase heat to high, then add the rice. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, 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.

3. Dissolve one chicken stock pot in 1l water. 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.

4. 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.

5. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 2-3 minutes, season, then set aside.

6. When the rice is almost ready (95%), lower the heat, then stir in the sauteed mushrooms (from Step 5). Take the pan off the heat and add the Parmesan into the rice (the mantecatura process) as well as 1 tablespoon of butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.

7. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil and some butter 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. Set aside.

8. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil and then saute the samphire for about 1- 1 1/2 minutes over moderate heat. Do not season as samphire is naturally salty.

9. To serve, place risotto onto a plate, then top with scallops and samphire. Garnish with more shaved Parmesan. Serve immediately.

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  1. Oooo...scallops. Like prawns, can never go wrong with those, sure will be nice. Bravo to your girl, dish looks really good!

  2. i've missed seeing your risotto recipes ... they always look better than the risotto that i have at restaurants! :)

  3. So nice to see your kids giving cooking suggestions! Risotto was an excellent choice. Mushroom risotto has always been a favorite of mine, as there's so many ways to make it. One dish I'd love for you to check out is Riso Scotti's recipe for Mushroom Risotto Timbales. It's a classic, the method is so easy to follow as well. I would definitely recommend it as your next risotto dish to try! :)


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