Cooking with Jane: Prawn Risotto

Prawn Risotto
Risotto is really easy to make, but it needs your attention as there is a lot of stirring, and don’t try to rush the process either you don’t want undercooked rice, but it’s worth it!. Lovely dish to have at the weekend when we generally have more time on our hands. You could substitute the prawns for mixed seafood if you prefer.
What you need:
  • 450g raw large prawns (shells removed)
  • 1 litre of fish or vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 85g butter
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 350g Risotto rice usually arborio rice
  • 190ml dry white wine (small bottle)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée
  • Fresh basil leaves torn
You will also need a large saucepan, a soup ladle (optional) and measuring jug
How to make:
1. Put the saucepan on a low heat. Add the olive oil, bay leaf and 25g of the butter, and cook the chopped onions slowly for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add 1 tablespoon of stock to stop them colouring, if necessary. (Photo 1).
2. Stir in all the rice so it absorbs all the buttery oil. (Photo 2). When it is opaque and making a rustling sound as you stir, pour in all the wine. Keep stirring while the rice absorbs the wine – it should not evaporate into the air, so keep the heat low just bubbling. (Photo 3).
4. Now start to add the stock to the pan one soup ladle full (or 100ml) at a time. As you add each ladle keep stirring until all the ladle full has been absorbed into the rice (you will know when this has happened as there will be no puddles of liquid) at that point add the next ladle full. (Photo 3).
5. Once you get down to around the last 200ml of stock start tasting the rice, if it has a chalky texture when you bite into it, then it is not yet cooked through so add another ladle of stock, let that absorb and taste again. If it has some bite without the chalkiness then the rice is cooked. Note you may not need to use all the stock. This part of the process will take around 20 minutes.
6. Add the prawns, the remaining butter and tomato purée and a good grind of salt and pepper (Photo 4). Keep stirring for 4-5 minutes more so the prawns are cooked through (Photo 5).
7. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle over the torn basil, enjoy! (Photo 6). You can also serve with some grated Parmesan cheese.