Sunday, January 29, 2006

Trying to post the pictures of Seafood Risotto, but Ihaven't been successful, so I'm trying a whole new post
I made a rather nice seafood risotto at the restaurant for last Friday night. I had a very rich lobster stock in the freezer, made from over 150 lobster carcasses left over from New Years eve. I also had a great collection of fish trimmings in the freezer as well-mahi-mahi, monkfish, salmon, halibut, lobster tails-plus I added shrimp and crab.

I made about 20 portions, but here's a ratio for a more reasonable amount
5 cups good lobster stock
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup white wine-I used a vouvray, then paired the same wine with dinner
1 and 3/4 cups arborio rice
2 pounds of seafood-try to get a good mix of different kinds of fish-vary the textures, the colors , the flavors, etc.
large pinch of saffron
salt to your liking-I used an exotic red sea salt called Alaea Hawaiian
judicious amounts of black, white, and most importantly cayenne
chopped fresh parsley mixed with a little chopped fresh taragon

Bring the stock to a simmer and poach the fish, leaving it slightly under cooked, keep the fish warm while you finish the rice

Briefly saute the shallot, garlic, and pepper in the butter-do not brown

Add the rice and stir cook about five minutes, until the rice is opaque

Add the wine

Keep the stock at a simmer in a stock pot next to the rice pot

Slowly begin adding the stock, and stir often as the rice absorbs the stock add a small amount more

Technique is most imortant at this stage
keep the stock barely simmering
add small amounts of the stock to the rice
stir the rice often and let it absorb the stock slowly
after ten minutes begin adding the seasaonings

This whole process should take twenty-five to thirty minutes

When you get the rice to the texture and flavor you like -chewiness, creaminess, spiciness-fold in the fresh herbs and poached seafood-I like mine on the soft and creamy side

I also added some blanched peas, but some sliced green beans or asparagus would be really nice

Cook very briefly to marry all the ingredients and serve immeadiately

Wine c'est bon

I chose Marc Bredif Vouvray 2003 in cooking the dish and also to pair with dinner. It comes from the village of Rochecobon in the Loire valley in France.

Vouvrays can be very dry to very sweet dessert wines. This one was off dry, but not sweet. It had a clean, floral nose. refreshing fruity and nutty flavors with enough acidity to balance. I really like this wine, and it's not expensive_around $15 I think, I can't remember for sure.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Clementines in vodka

This is my first time blogging. I received James Peterson's "Glorious French Food" book as a gift recently, and I have been wanting to make his clementines a l'eau-de-vie since I first read the recipe. I hope it will be a fortuitious initiation into the blogosphere. The clementines are marvelous right now and abundant at the market.

The ingredient list is quite simple

24 small clementines

7 cups granulated sugar

2 cups good quality vodka

wash the clementine and remove any stems, blanch the clementine and drain

when the clementines are cool enough to handle, prick them with a pin several times, which will allow the syrup to penetrate to the center of the clenentines

combine 3cups of sugar with two quarts of water in a heavy bottomed non-aluminum kettle, bring to a gentle simmer, add the clementines and simmer for ten minutes

remove to a heat proof bowl, cover and let sit over night at room temperature

repeat this process three times in three days, reducing the simmering time to five minutes

drain the clementines and discard the syrup

combine the remaining four cups of sugar with three quarts of water and bring to the simmer, add the clementine(handle gently as they become soft), simmer five minutes, cool and let sit overnight at room temperature

repeat this once or twice more (depends on the size of your clementines)but becareful not to cook too much or they will become mushy

drain them once more, reserving the syrup, reduce the syrup to about four cups, let the syrup cool and add the vodka

pour the mixture ofver the clementines making sure that is cover them, if it doesn't add more vodka

store chilled for two to three weeks in a glass jar

I've learned alot on this first effort-it's a pretty disorganized post next time I'll try to organize it better