Thursday, September 10, 2009

Zucchini, Mussel, Prawn, Risotto

I have this strange love for zucchinis. Part of me loves them because they look deceptively like cucumbers but are in fact quite different from them - almost prankster-like and cheeky. Wikipedia tells me that they're the swollen ovaries of the female zucchini flower. What the?

Anyway, while I would have been perfectly happy smacking my face in a bowl of zucchini and parmesan risotto, JL was visiting for lunch which meant that he probably would have cried on the sight of my almost rabbit-food-like-food. That's when my bags of frozen seafood came in handy.

So here it is folks, my Zucchini, Mussel, Prawn, Mussel, Prawn Risotto. And Parmesan, of course.

You'll need about six mussels, more if you like them lots. You'll also need about a tonne of peeled prawns. A tonne here means about 100g. In retrospect I think 100g of prawn shells on top would have been excellent. You'll see why.

You'll also need 1/2 an onion, 1 clove of garlic...

and 2 zucchinis, grated.

Saute the mussel and half of the prawns (or prawn shells if you have them) with a little garlic and olive oil until they change colour. Don't overcook anything (including the garlic) or you'll be kicking yourself.

Pour contents into a small pot and pour about 1L of chicken stock in. Add salt to taste and bring to boil. Proceed to simmer the stock for at least 30 minutes (you may need to add more stock).

The stock should change colour. If you had prawn shells you'd soon realise that this stock is like the big-O in a pot. Seafood stock is totally full of wins.

Once you are happy with the stock, proceed with the risotto.

Saute 1/2 onion. I burnt mine because I got distracted by my temper. Don't make the same mistake - it's just not worth it.

Once the onions are transparent, add 3 cups of arborio rice and continue sauteing. Sauteing? Sautaying? Guh. I have no idea.

Then one ladle at a time, add the prawn and mussel stock into the rice, stirring gently to allow the rice to absorb all the liquid before adding the next ladle. Proceed until the grains are almost fully saturated and won't soak up any more liquid.

Add grated zucchini to the pot and let it cook slightly.

Give it a good stir so that it doesn't catch on the bottom. Just be gentle though.

Pour the remaining seafood stock into the pan and let it simmer with the lid on. Make sure you have a pot of chicken stock additionally on the side bubbling away. Risotto needs lots of liquid. If the rice dries out, add another ladle of liquid into the pan.

Once the rice is almost done, (taste test is the key) add the seafood contents of the stock into the pan. These should be quite tender.

In a separate pan, saute remaining prawns until coloured.

Throw into pan and cook until rice is tender. Once done, turn off the heat and add a cup of freshly grated parmesan.

Then just serve with a little cracked pepper.

Zucchini, Mussel, Prawn, Risotto
Serves 3

2 Zucchinis, grated
3 cups Arborio Rice
100g Green Prawns
100g Prawn Shells (if you have them)
6 Mussels
1/2 Onion, finely diced
1 Garlic, minced
1L Chicken Stock (to use for Seafood Stock)
1L Chicken Stock, extra
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
Cracked Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

  1. Saute mussels, half of the prawns, prawn shells in a pan with a little garlic and oil until colour changes
  2. Tip contents into a pot and pour 1L of chicken stock. Add salt and bring to boil then simmer for 30minutes
  3. In a saute pan, saute onions until transparent
  4. Add rice and coat thoroughly with oil and cook slightly
  5. One ladle at a time, add seafood stock and allow rice to fully absorb liquid before adding another ladle
  6. Once fully saturated, pour remaining seafood stock into pan and bring to simmer
  7. Stir in zucchini and allow to cook briefly while stirring
  8. Put lid back on and simmer. Add extra stock slowly as risotto thickens and expands
  9. When rice is almost cooked, add contents of stock (minus shells if you added them) into the pan, continue to simmer with lid on while adding stock
  10. In a separate pan, saute remaining prawns until cooked
  11. Add prawn into risotto and cook until rice is no longer has a rock centre
  12. Add freshly grated parmesan and serve with cracked pepper

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