Thursday, 4 December 2008

03.12.08: Squid risotto with French bnz and mangetout

Eager to expand Their risotto repertoire, He tried out the "easy squid risotto with fresh tomato and parsley" recipe card picked up at the local Waitrose. The French bean and mangetout with hazelnut and orange zest side salad was nabbed from Our new best friend.

HE SAYS: I'm pretty impressed with this new risotto. A very different dish to our regular pesto variety, with far more subtle flavours and subtle overtones. I deviated from the recipe a lot, adding white wine, far more fish stock and more tomatoes. I also cooked the base risotto like the one We usually cook (much faster, and easier to check levels of doneness and add more liquid if necessary) and not by their silly baking method.

The salad was nice and zesty, crunchy and obviously nutty, with the roasted hazelnuts adding intense toasty intrigue to the mix. The orange zest was a little too intermittent in adding citrus so I squeezed half of the orange over the bnz, which helped. The recipe called for hazelnut oil, but I substituted peanut oil and it seemed to work just as well. Overall, a great meal but perhaps less of a winter warmer than is needed with the cold coming in.

SHE SAYS: This has got to be the healthiest indulgence ever, this here risotto. Squid done right always has a slightly sweet taste, but grilled and piled into creamy risotto tinged with tomato acidity, its humble flavour offering develops moreish complexity. He did a great job in deviating from the recipe - not sure this would be quite such a winner without the wine and extra stock, as the flavour was still v. light.

The salad was positively gourmet, with mangetout and green bnz matching crisp to crunch with the roasty hazelnuts (I couldn't stop picking them out of the bowl).

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