Feb 11, 2008

Something salty this time!

There are a couple of things in the culinary world that I absolutely ADORE- chocolate, risotto, and seafood. These undeniably make it in my top10 list of favourite foods, because there is just something exceptional beyond just great taste. Eating such foods sends my tastebuds off to a different planet. It also happens to be that risotto and seafood together is one of my favourite combinations. There is so much versatility to a dish composed of both items, and it is almost always a crowd-pleaser! This time, I've made a risotto topped off with wonderful scallops cooked in a divine orange-saffron sauce, and garnished with orange rinds. If your mise-en-place is ready beforehand, that really helps in not screwing up timing and serving temperature- which is essential in these kind of dishes. And in continuing with my previous post, I do recommend this dish for upcoming Valentine's Day!

Recipe for Risotto & Scallops cooked in Orange-Saffron sauce (yes I know, my recipe titles are not that original!)

Ingredients (quantities for 2 people):
  • 125 g arborio rice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 25 g parmesan
  • 20-30 cl hot bouillon (of your choice, I used vegetable bouillon here)
  • 1 small cup of dry white wine (warm, as a cold wine "shocks" the rice)
  • 8 scallops
  • Juice of 2 freshly squeezed oranges (and keep some peel on the side for the rinds)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, saffron, pepper corn

For the risotto: In a deep pan, heat the olive oil and add the onions, until they become a golden-translucent colour. Then add in the Arborio rice and salt and allow to lightly fry. After 2-3 minutes, add the wine and keep stirring. Once the wine has cooked the rice, add a first ladle of hot bouillon, turn down heat, and allow rice to simmer. Continue adding bouillon gradually until rice is cooked (takes about 18mins or so- just taste to see when it’s ready). Remember to keep stirring so that the rice doesn’t stick at the bottom of the pan. Once ready, remove from heat and add parmesan, stir with a wooden spoon- you should usually start noticing a wonderful creamy texture here!

For the scallops: heat a bit of olive oil in a pan, then add the scallops (that have been previously seasoned with salt) and cook the scallops over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Once they gain colour, bring down heat to medium and add the orange juice, rinds and saffron. Cook for about 3 minutes on low-medium heat, and just before serving, bring heat back up so that the orange-saffron sauce thickens.

Serve risotto with scallops on top, garnish with orange rinds (optional- but I can tell you it tastes great with the risotto!) and pour over with the orange-saffron sauce. If you have some red peppercorns, rub some grains in between fingers and sprinkle the obtained flakes over dish.

P.S: For the risotto, recipes usually call for butter instead of olive oil. I rarely use butter when cooking- but if you would rather use butter, then replace the olive oil and for extra richness add a dab of butter or cream when adding the parmesan!


Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, Marianna... I love risotto but have never tried scallops before - this dish would be perfect for me! :)

Ann said...

Love, love, love risotto and love this recipe! Great blog!

Kate / Kajal said...

This only sells out ... C L A S S Y !
Beautiful dish Marianna , with gr8 combination of flavours. I adore scallops , but cant find any in Ghana ... but in HK ...i buy them live :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Beautiful dish! I am writing to you from the US and I needed some help with the American-French equivalents. What is the cl hot bouillon in the US stand for?