Seafood is a plentiful Irish resource and over the years that I have lived in Ireland I have enjoyed my fair share of deliciously fresh caught morsels of fish and shellfish from the local area. I still remember the fresh scallops served on a bed of risotto that I enjoyed one June bank holiday weekend during a trip to the Aran Islands. The oysters eaten fresh from the sea on a fishing boat in nearby Scotland one Easter weekend. The delicious seafood bouillabaisse with monk fish, mussels and Dublin Bay prawns that I made on a French cookery course in Howth.
More recently, this past weekend I attended the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival for some local seafood sampling where I enjoyed the most gorgeous mussels I have ever tasted. I was inspired by the festival to share a seafood recipe that I have made a few times but haven’t gotten around to blogging about. Crab Risotto with a Kick. The ingredients for this recipe were given to me by a friend. The method for making the risotto is from my Jamie Does… cookbook where Jamie Oliver makes a risotto bianco in Italy. This recipe adds crab meat to the risotto bianco along with a couple of chilies to give it a little kick as well as garlic, lemon and basil making it a flavourful seafood risotto dish.
Ingredients: 1 litre of vegetable stock, 1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 red onion peeled and finely chopped, 1 stick of celery trimmed and finely chopped, 300g risotto rice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 125ml white wine, a knob of butter, a handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 – 2 cloves of garlic crushed, 1-2 red chilies de-seeded and finely chopped, 150 grams of crab meat, fresh sprigs of basil shredded.
1. Pour the vegetable stock in a pot and leave over a low heat.
2. In another pot, add the olive oil, onion and celery and cook for over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft but not coloured.
3. Turn the onions and celery up to a medium heat then add the rice with a pinch of salt and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed. Add a ladle of hot stock, stir and wait until it is absorbed then add another ladle of stock.
4. Continue adding stock and waiting for it to absorb until you have used all your stock and the rice is al dente (approximately 15 minutes). The risotto should be slightly looser than you want as it will thicken as it sits.
5. Take the pot off the heat. Stir in the butter and parmesan then season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Add the lemon juice, crushed garlic, chopped chilies and crab meat then stir. Place the lid on and leave the risotto to sit for 2 minutes before serving.
6. Serve with shredded basil sprinkled over top of the oozy seafood risotto.