I love making risotto. It is such a simple, but incredibly versatile dish. The first risotto I ever made was a ‘Risotto ala Milanese’ – just using saffron in your stock and then adding lots of grated parmesan at the end. Few of my other favourites: adding panfried mushrooms, grated parmesan and a drizzle of truffle oil (cliche, but worth it) at the end, just peas and parmesan in the spring or a plain risotto (always with Parmesan and Creme Fraiche) with chopped fresh herbs, cubed fish (such as salmon, plaice or pike) and brown and white crab meat. The seafood risotto is a great luxury.

You need:

(serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a starter)

Imagea pinch of saffron

60g unsalted butter

2tbl olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

200g Arborio rice

150ml dry white wine

900ml fish or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper

150g Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons Crème fraiche

200g smoked haddock, cubed (ideally without the yellow dye)

6 quail eggs

chopped parsley

Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan

Add the chopped onion and sweat until translucent, with a pinch of salt

Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute

Add the rice and heat until you can’t touch the grains

Add the wine and let it absorb

Add the saffron into your stock

Start adding your stock, ladle by ladle, wait until completely absorbed before each addition and keep the pan hot, stir constantly to keep the starch moving to give it the beautiful creaminess

Season little and often

Cook until al dente, add more water if necessary

Stir the fish in a cook through (4-5 minutes, check by lifting a piece out of the pan and break open, the flakes should be defined and the colour should be consistent with no opaque centre)

Season and add parmesan and crème fraiche to taste and stir the parsley through

For the quail eggs

Pop a pan on the heat filled with water and a large glug of white wine vinegar

Crack them with a cerated knife into a bowl that has 100ml of cold water in and a dash of white wine vinegar

When the water is gently boiling (not just simmering, but also not a rolling boil- constant, medium sized bubbles) pour the eggs in with the water and vinegar

The eggs should be poached in 1 – 1,5 minutes, lift them out with a slotted spoon and check with your fingers that the whites are set.

Drain them on a kitchen paper

Ideally, you should serve them immediately, but you can keep them at room temperature for about half an hour


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