Squat lobster risotto

We had the usual debate through the late afternoon about what we might do for a meal, when the spouse mentioned that we had some squats, and I said that I liked risotto. We used Valentina Harris’s book, Risotto Risotto to give us the technical details. This is what we did.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • A lovage leaf (or a little bit of celery)
  • 50g butter
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 1/4 bottle vinho verde (or any dry white wine)
  • 500ml boiling hot vegetable stock
  • 500g squats, cut in half (peeled weight)
  • 25g freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper

My rule of thumb, for a good sized portion per person I allow 75g rice and 225ml liquid. For a starter, 50g. This recipe depended on how much weight of squats we had, and we got three servings.

METHOD:

  • Fry the onion in half the butter until soft, then stir in the risotto rice and lovage.
  • If you are using celery, chop it finely and fry it with the onion.
  • Stir the rice into the frying onion until it looks opaque and is hot. Then stir in the wine, then start adding the stock a little bit at a time, allowing each bit of stock to be absorbed before adding the next.
  • With the last little bit of stock, add the squats. When the stock is fully soaked in, remove the risotto from the heat, and add the parsley, the rest of the butter and the parmesan, add any salt and pepper that is needed, and then cover. Leave the risotto to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Moules Marinieres

Lots of places to pick fresh mussels around the coast. This is a great way to cook them.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2kg mussels, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 25g butter
  • 600ml white wine
  • 25ml pastis such as pernod (optional)
  • salt and pepper

METHOD:

  • Put the shallots, wine, pastis, garlic, and parsley in a large pan and simmer for five minutes
  • Add the butter and the mussels, turn the heat to high, and cook until the mussels are open. Shake the pan a few times to ensure that the mussels cook evenly.
  • Season, and serve the mussels in soup bowls with the liquor as a sauce, and chopped parsley as a garnish.