Lockdown Date Night – Cod, Prawn, Chilli and Lemon Risotto.

As you can probably tell by now, I have a backlog of recipes and blog ideas! I thought this would be a good time to get them all on here once and for all! Cooking is just my favourite thing to do. The washing up and cleaning after, not so much, but I always think it’s worth it. Having lots of time at home has been get for my creativity in the kitchen and has provided me with the gift of time. I can now cook calmly and the things I love that I wouldn’t normally do, had I been at work all day. One of my favourite meals is risotto. I never used to like it, but I think that’s because I had never had one that was the right texture, consistency or flavour. I am BIG on packing in lots of flavour in my dishes. It’s impossible for me to cook with under 10 ingredients I think! I always freestyle my dishes and they all seem to come out delicious so I must be doing something right!

Lockdown is a difficult time for most of us. It’s a blessing as if we’re at home, it means we’re out of harms way and we’re not risking anyone vulnerable. But if you’re a couple and you enjoy going out for meals like Tom and I do, you might be missing ‘date night’. I think this risotto recipe is perfect for an indoors date night. You can both dress up like you would if you were going out, no TV, mood music and a nice bottle of something to drink. 

Risotto is quite simple to get right. You just need to have the time to stand there and keep it all moving. Even 30 seconds away from the pan will cause it to stick to the bottom. This happened to me the first time I cooked it and I have avoided leaving it unattended since! Fish and risotto are a catch made in heaven, so on Bank Holiday Monday I decided to treat us to a Cod, prawn, chilli, lemon and sun-dried tomato risotto. It was absolutely incredible. Tom said it’s the best risotto he’s ever had and he used to be a chef! Out of the two of us, I would actually say I’m the better cook, and I think he would (reluctantly) agree. There’s a few dishes I won’t cook as he does them better, like his chilli (best in the world), but I generally do most of the cooking. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 bits of cod (I just bought mine from Tesco’s and they were the perfect size).

  • Raw tiger prawns (Again, I just bought a packet from Tesco’s fish section)

  • 200g arborio rice.

  • 1 large brown onion, diced.

  • 1 orange pepper, diced.

  • 2 red chilli’s, de-seeded and diced. (Put less in if you don’t like spice).

  • 2 lemons – zest and juice.

  • 100g sundried tomatoes, finely chopped.

  • 187ml white wine (It’s one of those little bottles, they’re about £1.60 each).

  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock.

  • Freshly grated parmesan – I love parmesan so I use loads, but it’s up to you!

  • Fresh parsley finely chopped. Again, use as much as you like to have.

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed.

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.

  • 50g butter.

  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat up the butter, then add the garlic, chilli, onion and pepper. Cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

  2. Next, add the sundried tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, parsley and the lemon zest. Stir thoroughly and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Then add the rice to the pan as well as half of the wine. It is from this point that you have to keep stirring. The rice will absorb the wine and begin to cook. Steadily add the rest of the wine.

  4. Turn the heat down low. Cooking risotto requires patience. It’s a meal you cannot rush. After the heat has been reduced, slowly add the stock. You will have to do this in very small stages to stop the rice becoming stodgy, or being under cooked. No one likes a ‘wet’ risotto!

  5. This will take around 30 minutes for the rice to cook. When it is about 10 minutes from being cooked, and depending on the thickness of your fish, you will need to start cooking it. Over cooked fish is just the worst. There’s no other way to put it. But perfectly cooked fish is delicious. Cod is quite to cook. ALWAYS put in the frying pan skin side down. Cook the cod for around 5 minutes skin side down so it crisps up, then flip it over. It will need around another 3 minutes flesh side down. It should be perfect, and slightly opaque in the middle. If it is cooked well, it will just flake away.

  6. When you flip the cod over to the flesh side, it’s time to add the prawns to the risotto. Because of the heat in the pan, they will cook quickly and again, you don’t want them to overcook as it will be like eating rubber. Also add the lemon juice at this point.

  7. Serve with a fresh sprinkling of parsley and fresh parmesan!


Risotto pic.jpgRisotto pic.jpg

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