Last night I had some old friends over for dinner. We all grew up popping in and out of each others houses and spending long summers on the beach and messing around on boats.
As so often happens with busy lives ... and the added constraint of a few continents separating us ... we don’t often find ourselves around the same table.
Last night, for the first time in a year, we did ... we needed simple food so we could have a good catch up.
After a few nibbles and a bottle of Prosecco, I made risotto.
It is a great recipe for an evening around the kitchen table ... one pot, not much washing up and everyone can have a quick stir while you find some plates ... or in my case put the children to bed.
We finished with a meringue roulade, a little cake and a lot of chocolate ... it was great.
If you want a simple dinner with friends here is the recipe:
PRAWN AND ASPARAGUS RISOTTO
Serves 4 as a main, 8 as a starter
400g Risotto rice, 200g Uncooked peeled king prawns, 20 Stalks of asparagus, 160mil large glass of white wine, 1.25ltr Stock, 50g Grated parmesan, 2 Cloves grated garlic, 1 Medium onion, 50g butter, salt and pepper
- Finely chop the onion and place in heavy bottomed pan, drizzle in some olive oil and place on a medium heat.
- Once the onions start to soften and go a bit opaque grate in the garlic and stir, leave for a minutes and add in all the rice
- Stir the rice until it is all covered in oil and has gone slightly opaque. This should take about a minute.
- The pan will be really hot, so will sizzle when you add the wine
- Pour in the wine, stirring while you pour.
- After a minute pour 250 mil of stock into the pan and stir, from this point it will take 18-20 minutes to cook the rice.
- After 3 minutes pour another 250 mil
- You will need to keep stirring the risotto every couple of minutes adding in more stock when ever it starts to look dry. I find that I normally use all of the 1.25 ltrs of stock
- After about 10 minutes when the rice is almost cooked add in the asparagus and allow to cook for 2 minutes. After two minutes taste the rice, if it is cooked then move to the next step, if not keep adding water and stirring until cooked.
- Once the rice is cooked add the prawns, parmesan, and butter to the pan. Stir continuously for a minute and a half till the prawns and asparagus are cooked, season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and serve
Risotto is much easier to cook than you think it will be. I have said make up 1.25 liter of stock, however all rice is different and will need a different amount of water to cook. If you don’t use it all don’t worry ... and if finish it all and the rice is not yet cooked make some more stock up and put it in.
For my stock, I use Vegetable Bouillon Powder but you can use any stock you like.
If you don’t have many prawns or would like to add another flavour to this risotto you can add chorizo to it. Dice 60g of chorizo and place in frying pan for a couple of minutes until crispy, the oil will leak out of the chorizo. Just before you serve mix the chorizo and all the oil into the risotto.