Seafood risotto is one of life’s delicious pleasures.
The meeting of the creamy risotto with the salty tang of prawns, crab meat or fish will have your diners salivating. However, regardless of how hearty your diners appetites are, you may find that you have some leftovers and unfortunately risotto does not reheat well.
But don’t despair, all that great risotto will not go to waste. Just do what the Italians do and make either a suppli or arancini.
To make suppli shape the leftover risotto into ovals, dip into beaten egg, coat in breadcrumbs and sauté until golden brown. For arancini, pop a small cube of mozzarella cheese into the centre of the shaped risotto and then follow the directions as normal.
With Christmas and parties (yes, already) popping up over the horizon, you will find suppli and arancini excellent party fodder, as it is delicious hot or cold, and can be made in advance.
Handy Hint 1: Pop the breadcrumb coated suppli or arancini into the fridge to firm up before sautéing. This will stop any tendency to break apart when cooking.
Handy Hint 2: It is easy to make your own version of the shellfish stock by simply simmering the prawn shells, prawn heads and picked crab shells in water for about ten minutes. Skim off and discard froth that floats to the surface during the simmering process. Line a sieve with either a couple of sheets of paper towel or a clean Chux, then strain and retain the shellfish liquid.
Handy Hint 3: Always use risotto friendly rices, such as Arborio. Making sure that your stock is simmering before you start the rice part of the risotto. Cook the onion/garlic until transparent and just softened. If you brown the onion/garlic, it may impart a bitter taste to the completed risotto.
Handy Hint 4: The herbs used in the risotto must be fresh. Dried herbs will impart too strong a flavour to the risotto and overwhelm the seafood. If you don’t grow your own, supermarkets usually have a good range of fresh herbs.
I have used finely chopped green prawns and crab meat in my risotto but you could also add small cubes of fish such as snapper.
1.5-2L fish shellfish stock
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks or 1 onion, finely sliced (white part of the leek only)
1-2 cloves garlic, finely grated
2 cups risotto rice
200g fish fillets, boned and finely cubed
200g green prawns, peeled, deveined and cut into small pieces
2-3 sand crabs or 1 muddie
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
2 eggs, beaten lightly
breadcrumbs, for coating
(1) Heat the stock in a saucepan until simmering. Heat the olive oil in a large frypan over a medium heat. Add the onion or leek to the pan and cook for a minute before adding the garlic (to ensure garlic doesn’t burn). Continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the onion has softened.
(2) Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring until all the grains of rice are well coated with the oil.
(3) Gradually add the stock, a cup at a time, to the pan until the rice has absorbed each addition of liquid and stir continuously. When you have about a cup of stock left to add, add the prawns, fish and crab meat. Stir gently, to avoid breaking up the seafood and continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the seafood is cooked.
From start to finish this risotto should only take about 20 minutes or so.
(4) Stir the parsley, oregano, lemon zest, butter and parmesan through the risotto and then remove the pan from the heat. Allow the risotto to cool completely.
(5) When the risotto is cold, shape it into ovals. For arancini, poke a little bit of mozzarella cheese into the centre of the oval. Dip the risotto ovals into the beaten egg and then coat thoroughly with the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until ready to sauté.
(6) Heat some vegetable oil (not olive oil) in a heavy based frypan and fry the risotto ovals until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve, with a tomato-based sauce.
The seafood in this recipe was supplied by Princess Charlotte Seafood ph (07) 3256 9175.Reads: 2862