Monthly Archives: March 2014

Risotto alla primavera con scampi en piselli – spring risotto with shrimp and peas

Standard

This dish was actually inspired by one of the dishes my mother in law made a few times, a rice pilav with vegetables and small shrimp.

I decided to change it a little bit,by making it into a risotto and using big shrimp,I think it turned out pretty well and I will be making it again for sure. I hope some of you will try it, as it’s pretty easy, you can use deep freeze shrimp, and the rest of the ingredients are really basic, so here’s my risotto alla primavera with shrimp 🙂

serves 4:

500g of raw carrot,peeled and diced very finely

2 large onions, diced finely

4-5 celery stalks, diced very finely

2 cloves of garlic, crushed of diced

250-280g of risotto rice (arborio,carnarolli or other)

2-3 heaped tbsp of cream cheese , f/e mascarpone

around 7 large deep freeze shrimp per person- unfrozen before cooking(more or less 500g)

150g of spring green peas ( deep freeze)

around 1l of hot chicken stock, kept in the pot,on the gas(not boiling)

salt,pepper

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of butter

100ml of white wine-optional

 

1)      melt the butter in a large,deep skiller, preferably with a heavy base, fry off your carrots,celery,onions and garlic until they’re starting to soften(5 min), then add your rice and mix it while it’s toasting off, coating it in the butter and vegetables. (2-3 min)

2)      after the rice is a bit translucent , add the wine and mix, let it evaporate and when it’s almost gone, starting adding the hot chicken stock about 2 ladles at a time,not more. Keep stirring after each portion of the  stock,to release the starch from the rice.Add the next portion of the stock only when the previous one is almost absorbed.

3)      the cooking time may vary , depending on what brand and type of rice you’re using, it’s usually about 20 min, but you need to taste it every now and then. Keep adding the stock and stirring the risotto (you really have to stir it a LOT!) until the rice is cooked yet al dente. Then add the peas and heat them through.

4)      Heat up another pan, add the olive oil to it, season your shrimp with salt and pepper and place in a hot pan, cook until they’re nice and coral in colour , they will also curl up when they’re done (about 3-4min on high heat).

5)      once the rice is cooked ( doesn’t matter if you didn’t use all the stock or you used all of it and need more,then add a bit of hot water instead.) turn the heat off and add the mascarpone,let it melt in and stir it through.

6)      check the seasoning of the risotto for salt and pepper, serve immediately in a deep bowl, then place seven shrimp on top, in a circle.

enjoy! 🙂

 

2014-03-18 18.13.11

Standby brownies

Standard

I can’t take all the credit for this recipe, as a matter of fact, I don’t think I can take ANY credit at all 😉

I found this recipe one time, while looking for a brownie recipe on a cocoa powder base.. as everyone knows chocolate is a girl’s best friend and often I find myself out of dark,cooking chocolate when I need to make chocolate cake or brownies.

Cocoa powder however..I always have on hand. All the ingredients you need, you probably already have on hand, so it’s a great recipe to keep around, it’s done in 35-40minutes start to finish, it’s very versatile, so you can whip it up in no time if you have unexpected guests or you’re just craving something dark,chocolatey,fudgy and rich 🙂

ingredients: (serves 16)

150g of butter

275g of caster sugar(I use half caster sugar half brown sugar , for some extra flavour)

3 eggs

80g of flour

1 tsp of vanilla extract

75g of cocoa powder (not the instand cocoa, cooking/baking cocoa powder type!)

pinch of salt

1)      take your butter,salt,sugar,cocoa and put into a deep , heavy base pan, turn the heat on medium and stir until everything is combined and the butter is melted. You can add a tablespoon or two of water if you have a hard time stirring it because it’s too thick.

2)      once everything is melted,combined and reasonably smooth, let it cool for a few minutes, before whisking the eggs in- do it one by one,to prevent any scrambling. whisk well in between, just to combine everything evenly.

3)      when your eggs are whisked in – add the vanilla and the flour. stir in. pour it into a well greased brownie tin/form, lined with baking paper. bake for 35min in 160C (hot air oven) or until it’s just set. let it cool completely before cutting. cut into 16 even squares, decorate with powdered sugar just for a nice,snowy effect 😉

tips:  use this easy recipe as a base and pimp it out any way you want! add raspberries,blueberries,nuts,chocolate chips or a chocolate topping.  It’s delicious on it’s own, but I’m sure the additions and little tweaks can only make it taste even better! enjoy;)

2014-01-29 15.03.43

2014-01-29 15.02.20

2014-01-29 15.02.33