Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Scallop and Prawn Risotto - affordable luxury for 2

Romantic dinner at home – Scallop and prawn risotto

For busy working couples watching the pennies a romantic dinner at home is nice affordable alternative to a pricy night out or outrageously priced red roses.
This luxurious risotto is quick to make, is special enough for it to feel like an occasion and doesn’t require slaving over a hot stove for hours so you have time to enjoy the meal and company. Just add a salad and some crusty bread and if you budget will allow any then you can wine match with any Bubbly or serve with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, pinot Gris or a chardonnay.   

Serves 2-3
Cost $19.51
2 ½ cups chicken stock – use good quality liquid stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ med chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup white wine (optional)
12 scallops
8 – 10 prawns – frozen defrosted prawns are fine
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
Handful of finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

In a saucepan heat the stock to boiling then remove from heat and set aside.
In another large pan heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Cook gently until soft, taking care not to let them brown.
Pour the rice into the pan and let it toast along with the onion and garlic for around 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the wine if using, and allow it to evaporate - around 1 -2 minutes.
Add the stock a ladleful at a time, the rice will absorb the stock but don’t let it dry out or it will stick. Keep and eye on it and add more as needed until all the stock has all been added. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick.
Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes then add the seafood, cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the prawns are pink and the scallops just cooked.
Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley lemon juice and zest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cooks tips: if you want you can add a drizzle of cream at the end and stir in before serving.

Valentines Raspberry shortcake ice cream sandwiches

For the Semi Fredo ice cream 

300 ml cream
150 ml berry flavoured yoghurt
1 ½ cups raspberries to make ½ cup raspberry puree – frozen are fine
½ cup caster sugar
2 egg whites beaten to soft peaks                                                                                                                                                  

For the shortcakes: Makes approx 18 - allow 2 per person 

225g butter
125g sugar
350g flour
Pinch of salt

Raspberry jam for spreading

To make the ice-cream
Line a large spring form cake pan or Swiss roll pan with cling film.
Defrost the frozen raspberries then pulse them in a food processer. Pour the purred berries into a sieve set over a bowl and press the raspberry puree through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Whip the cream in a large bowl; fold in the yoghurt, caster sugar and beaten egg whites.
Lastly drizzle in the raspberry puree and ripple it through the mixture using the blade of a knife.
Pour the mixture into the lined pan and freeze.
While the Semi Fredo is freezing make the shortcakes

Preheat the oven to 150°C
Combine the sugar; flour and salt then cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the dry ingredients. Work it well with your hands until it becomes a smooth dough or place all the ingredients into a food processor and process till dough forms, you may still need to work it a little with your hands.
Roll the dough out till it is about 4 ml thick and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut the shortcakes.  Prick each shortcake with a fork and bake on a greased tray for around 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the tray and cool on a rack.

To assemble
Remove the semi fredo ice cream from the freezer so it can begin to soften. Heat your heart shaped cutter in hot water. Spread some raspberry jam onto one shortcake, cut an ice cream heart and place on top then top with another shortcake.