This was the problem I faced today - one of my best friends was coming over to dinner - although she is a kind and understanding woman, she gets hungry. After starting at 7 this morning, I left the office at 6 tonight (relatively early by my standards!) and realised I had less than an hour before she would arrive.
Fortunately, though, I had this recipe up my sleeve - Scallop and Sugar Snap Risotto. This version serves 2.
Note that I have cooked them in the St Jacques style (gently poached in white wine) - if you prefer, sear them in olive oil with some salt, pepper and lemon zest. I prefer this way, since a) they are much more tender (without being sashimi!) and b) they shrink less.
You will need:
2 handfuls arborio rice
tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 glass white wine (200 ml)
400 ml boiling water
chicken stock cube
250 g sugar snap peas
frying pan + egg slice
cutting board + knife
- Finely dice the onion in the frying pan. Saute in olive oil until brown.
- Roughly chop the sugar snap peas.
- Add the garlic to the onion and brown.
- Add the arborio rice and allow to cook for a few minutes. If you let it get a tiny bit darker in colour, it will add a lot to the flavour.
- Dissolve the stock cube in boiling water.
- Add 1/4 of the chicken stock to the rice and allow it to absorb over a medium heat. As the rice dries out, keep adding small volumes of stock. Continue to do this for 6 minutes (or until the rice is only a couple of minutes away from being done)
- Zest and juice lemon and add to saucepan along with wine. Heat over the lowest possible flame.
- Add the scallops to the wine mixture in a single layer (this can be done in batches if necessary). The wine should not come more than halfway up the side of the scallops - if it does, tip the excess liquid off into the rice. Poach the scallops for about 2 minutes a side on the lowest heat.
- Remove the scallops from the poaching liquid. Cover and leave in a warm place. Tip the remaining poaching liquid onto the rice and allow it to absorb.
- When the rice has about 2 minutes left to cook, add the sugar snap peas.
- Cook the rice until it is soft through - it should melt on the plate. If any extra liquid is required, add a little more wine.
- Plate the risotto. Put the scallops back in the hot pan (no flame - just the residual heat is plenty) for ten seconds per side to ensure they are nice and warmed through. Top the risotto with the scallops and serve.
(OK, I'm a foodie, not a photographer or a food stylist - but dammit, it tasted AWESOME)