Prawn and Pea Risotto – Jamie The Return of the Naked Chef

I first made this a few years ago when we first got Jamie’s  The Return of the Naked Chef cookbook but I haven’t cooked it in years. Ideally it should be made it with fresh peas which means the season for making it is quite short, (although it could be made with frozen peas). It is a perfect summer evening dinner as it tastes fresh. My elder son was due back from CCF camp this evening and I wanted something flavoursome for him after over a week of military rations and it wanted something that wouldn’t take too long to cook. It was the first time he’d had this risotto and he loved it. Unusually it is a risotto you could cook for people who are lactose intolerant (probably best using olive oil instead of butter to cook the peas). I must cook this sometime for Michele. For most other risotto’s use the basic risotto ingredients and instructions below, add extra ingredients to flavour the risotto and 100g grated parmesan cheese to the rice when it has cooked.

Prawn and Pea Risotto Ingredients

  • 3 good handfuls peas, podded, (keep pods on one side)
  • 1 cup stock or 1 cup water
  • 1 basic risotto, recipe, (see recipe)
  • 1 lb. raw prawn, peeled
  • 1 handful basil, chopped
  • 1/2 handful mint, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Basic Risotto ingredients

  • 2 pt stock, chicken, fish, or, vegetable, as appropriate
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallot or 2 medium onion, finely, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely, chopped
  • 1/2 head celery, finely, chopped
  • 400g/14 oz arborio rice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 wine glasses dry white vermouth, (dry Martini or Nouilly Prat) or dry white wine
  • 70g/2 1/2 oz butter

Risotto Instructions

  1. Heat stock. In a separate pan heat the olive oil, add the shallots or onion, garlic and celery and slowly fry for about 3 minutes.
  2. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice, season with salt and pepper and turn up the heat.
  3. The rice will now begin to fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent having absorbed all the flavours from the vegetables.
  4. Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring – it will smell fantastic as it sizzles around the rice. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.
  5. Once the vermouth or wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a highish simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside.
  6. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring and allowing each ladle of liquid to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes.
  7. Taste the rice – is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don’t forget to carefully check the seasoning.
  8. Remove from the heat

Prawn and Pea Risotto Instructions

  1. Pod the peas (The pods can be placed in the stock after the peas are podded to infuse their fantastic delicate flavour. Use this stock as part of the stock/water for the risotto).
  2. Melt the butter in a pan add about 100ml stock. Cook half the peas until tender and mash
  3. When the basic risotto has been made add the prawns, raw peas and cooked peas and simmer for 2 minute as prawns take no time to cook.

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