Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Salmon Risotto

 On the meat front, the original EatingBritish project was actually quite easy.  A quick glance over almost any supermarket meat section will reveal that a significant quantity, if not all, of the meat was produced in the UK.  However, one of the areas that does become slightly questionable is fish.  When is a fish a British fish?  When it's caught in British waters perhaps?  I'm still slightly undecided on this issue myself, so instead I make do with sustainably farmed fish, which is definately produced in Britain!  In this case, I am using Scottish farmed salmon.  I quite like a nice piece of salmon every now and again, particularly pan fried (click on the 'fish' label to the left to see more recipies).  However, I thought I would try something a little different this time round and so I tried a salmon risotto.
 Salmon is ideal for a risotto because it requires only the gentlest of cooking, assuming its nice and fresh to start with, so it can go into the cooking pot right at the last minute.  Here is a nice piece of Scottish farmed salmon:
To make the risotto is really easy.  Heat some oil and butter (the oil raises the smoke point of the butter, allowing a higher heat to be used, but still giving the nice buttery flavour) in a pan and fry a finely chopped onion on a medium heat until soft.  Add about half a cup of rice.  Some would say to use risotto rice, which is certainly very good, but to be honest I used regular, long grain rice and it worked just fine for me.  Stir this around for a couple of minutes.  Meanwhile, make some chicken stock (I just use cubes, but if you have fresh stock it would be awesome!).  After the rice has been in the butter/onion/oil mixture in the pan for a few minutes, start adding the stock.  You want to do this quite slowly, allowing it to be absorbed by the rice before adding a bit more.  For this amount of rice, I found 3/4 pint of chicken stock worked very well.  You can always add more water if the rice still isn't cooked by the time you've used up all the stock, but it's much harder to take excess water out without over cooking the rice!
 While the rice is cooking, cut the salmon into cubes, removing the skin first if it was still on.  Once the rice is cooked, add the salmon, some chopped basil (dried works OK, but fresh would be so much better!) and two table spoons of double cream.  I also added some pine nuts because I like them and some halved cherry tomatos.  Stir this all together over a low heat.  Continue to cook until the salmon has turned nicely pink and is starting to fall apart.  Most risotto recipies would call for Parmesan cheese to be added, but of course, Parmesan cheese is not British.  It's an excellent cheese, but I didn't have any and I was keen to try a British alternative.  So, I used some of the Winchester mature chedder I've blogged about before (see here), which was a nicely mature chedder with a fairly robust flavour which I think did it's job as a Parmesan replacement fairly well.
 This was the end result:

No comments: