Smoked Salmon Risotto

Smoked Salmon Risotto

Smoked Salmon Risotto

I am a massive fan of smoked salmon – even a heinous bout of food poisoning after eating it at a very swanky restaurant in a very swanky hotel many moons ago didn’t put me off!  This … is a super summer lunch dish – and as today is too hot to cook in the evening I am limiting my cooker and kitchen to lunchtime and lunchtime ONLY!!  The elegant taste of the warm salmon in a light, creamy, unctuous, risotto is so moreish.  Served with a lightly dressed green salad on the side is an absolutely perfect spring into summer supper dish!

Setting summer aside (but not too quickly) – this is also a great dish for making after the Christmas revelries using up the left over smoked salmon and blue stilton that always seems to be hanging around after the big day (well maybe not the smoked salmon so much) and making that break from all the heavy food of the season.

It’s pretty inexpensive to make if you choose smoked salmon trimmings: you can get them from all supermarkets – Tesco’s are pretty good and currently the cheapest by far!  You will have to feel through the trimmings for any stray bones and cut off the darker or drier edges of the fish – but I think it is well worth the bother to reduce the cost.  Get two packs and if there is any left over salmon use the next day with some cream cheese (or beat up any left over stilton with a little crème fraîche) and slather in a bagel for a lunchtime treat!

Serves 2 but can easily be doubled.  Takes around 30 minutes from bag to table.

You need:

175g risotto rice
600ml of chicken stock
100g smoked salmon
200g of good quality baby plum tomatoes
100g of mature blue stilton (use any blue cheese if you wish or even cheddar!)

Do it:

Heat a non-stick frying pan and cook the risotto rice for 1 minute.  Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender (be gentle with the stirring as you don’t want to break up the grains too much).

Meanwhile, slice the smoked salmon into strips and halve the tomatoes.  Grate the blue stilton.

When the rice is ready, gently fold the tomatoes into the rice and cook for two minutes – stirring gently.  Now add the salmon and cheese to the rice and, again, fold in gently enough just to mix and then cook until the salmon and cheese are heated through (should take just a couple of minutes at the most).  Season to taste and serve immediately.


Sinful Venezuelan Chocolate & Disaronno Ice-cream

I recently came across a recipe for an Amaretto Ice Cream – I tried the recipe and it failed miserably (I think because the blogger had ‘not’ actually made this herself!) my initial instinct was that there was far too much alcohol for the ice-cream to freeze!  Unfortunately, I was £’s lighter and totally correct!  I tipped the unfrozen mixture into a blender and added a little more Amaretto and it ended up making an exceptional ‘grown-up’ chilled chocolate shake.  Straw essential – little umbrella optional….!!!!

I loved the taste and still wanted to make this ice-cream.  So it got me thinking and experimenting until I came up with this sinful (as in your wallet and on your hips) and utterly delicious recipe!  It’s not at all hard to make and you really don’t need an ice-cream maker; although it is easier if you do own one!  This is a rich, decadent and expensive ice-cream – but you can cut costs and for some people 100% cocoa might be too bitter for their taste-buds!  For me this is an extravagant dessert (read ‘grown up’ dinner party) ice-cream.  

A little rant here: my blog may not be the fastest on the net; but, everything I post up I have actually made myself in my tiny kitchen – and credit where credit is due nearly every food blog I follow does the same….. so, it does irk me when someone claims to have made something (and includes pictures which they claim they took) of a recipe that ‘cannot’  scientifically work – yet they have tons of their friends telling them how great the recipe is – it’s only when the responses are read closely does one realise that no-one seems to have made it and questioned the impossibility of the recipe! Oh well – rant over and onto the recipe!

For the ice cream I have used a 100% cocoa chocolate – it is made by a company called ‘Willies Supreme Cacao’ and is Venezuelan Black Carenero Superior. It can be obtained from most Waitrose stores in the baking section and costs £5.99 for 180g – which is quite expensive.  You can replace this with any high cocoa chocolate but try to get something over the 70% mark;  two recommendations are Co-op’s 85% Ghanian Fair Trade chocolate – or Green & Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate 85%.

Sinful Venezuelan Chocolate & Disaronno Ice-cream Recipe

This makes around 750mls and will serve 4 large scoops with a little left over (chef’s perk!).

Just a word on the milk – I have used Alpro’s Almond milk as it is slightly sweeter and complements the almond liqueur – but don’t shy away from using other milk … for example you can use a rich, full cream Gold Top Jersey cow’s milk or simply a full-fat cow’s milk – experiment maybe and use coconut milk for an interesting twist?  Don’t forget to keep the egg whites and make some meringues or a pavlova out of them – you can freeze them or keep them in the fridge for 2 days!

4 large egg yolks
125g golden caster sugar (ordinary caster sugar will be fine if you don’t have golden)
300ml Alpro almond milk (or milk of your choice)
300ml double cream
30ml (2 tablespoons) of Disaronno liqueur
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or vanilla paste if you have it – recommended)
180g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (see above for recommendations)
1 teaspoon of Camp coffee liquid (this is optional)

Place the egg yolks and the sugar in a bowl and beat for about 3 minutes with an electric beater until thick and pale or you can use a balloon whisk but this will take a little longer.

Place the cream, almond milk, vanilla and Disaronno in a saucepan over medium heat. Then heat the mixture until it is just below boiling point (do NOT allow to boil) stirring gently, before removing from heat and allow to cool to, at least, room temperature.

Once your cream/milk mixture is cooled add a small amount to your beaten eggs and then slowly add the rest of the cream/milk mixture beating all the time. Once all of the cream mixture is combined with the eggs, pour this into a clean pan over low heat (use a heat diffuser if necessary).

You are now making a ‘custard’ – so cook over a gentle heat and stirring all the time until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon (drag your finger down the back of the spoon and it should leave a definite trail in the coating which will remain).

Take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate (and Camp coffee liquid – if using) and allow it to melt into the custard – give the chocolate time to melt but if you feel it isn’t melting in then just put the pan back over the gentlest of heats until the chocolate has melted in – but do keep on stirring consistently!

Once the chocolate has melted and combined with the custard it is time to chill – allow the custard to cool to room temperature then pour into a non-metallic bowl and chill in the fridge for an hour.  

Once the mixture is completely chilled, take it from the refrigerator and pour it into your ice cream maker and follow instructions OR make by hand using a 1.0/1.5 litre lidded tupperware-type bowl (if you don’t have a lid use some cling film) – pour the ice-ceram mixture into the bowl; pop into your freezer and leave to freeze for around 3 hours, or until the edges have crystallised; then take it out of the tub into a (preferably chilled) sizeable bowl and beat with a hand mixer or a fork to break down the icy edges, then pour back into the tub and refreeze for another 2 hours then repeat the beating, once again breaking down the ice crystals – do this another two times to gain a really silky smooth ice cream (the ice cream will become stiffer in texture but smoother and you will feel this each time you beat)!  

When you are ready to serve – take out of the freezer and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes or in your fridge for 20 minutes – scoop and serve!  I have served mine with some fresh cherries and a shot glass of Disaronno for those who want a stronger liqueur taste!