Prawn and saffron risotto | Rižot od škampi sa šafranom

Risotto’s for me never seem to have much flavour, or enough flavour. I don’t know but they always seem kinda bland, possibly boring. But this one, with the prawns, chilli and saffron is different. This is the first time I’ve made this recipe (from a Croatian cookbook) and I love the little pink pieces of prawn, the mild flavour of the garlic (even though there are six cloves!) and the heat coming through from the chilli (to my mind, next time I will add another chilli – just to spice things up even more).

But any sort of risotto, even the Asparagus one I made in a previous post, needs to be treated with care. Anyone who tells you that you can leave it to bubble away on the stove top without stirring etc. is a joker. This dish is an investment in time, your time. You can’t leave it to make a phone call, you can’t leave it to throw a load of laundry on, you can’t leave it to watch five minutes of The Bold and the Beautiful. You have to be there stirring constantly, monitoring for when to add more water, and did I mention stirring constantly?

Keep calm and stir your risotto, non-stop! Here it is…enjoy!

Ingredients:

Two tablespoons of olive oil

Six garlic cloves, minced

500 grams of fresh green prawns, diced

300 grams Arborio rice (I used the SunRice brand)

300 mls (room temperature) white wine (any white you like to drink) Chill the remainder to serve

Two pinches of saffron threads

One small bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and finely diced (next time I’m putting in two, but up to you)

Half a bunch of Italian parsley, leaves only, fined chopped

Salt and pepper, per personal preference

Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:

  1. For the 300grams of rice, boil four cups of water with salt (so that it tastes like salt water from the sea). When it is boiling with large bubbles add the rice, stirring for two minutes and boil for five minutes (set a timer). As soon as five minutes is up, drain the rice and set aside.
  2. In a heavy-based saucepan, (I used a 24cm wide, 4 litre saucepan) add the oil on the lowest heat. Don’t change the heat at all throughout the cooking process even if you’re tempted to speed things up. Add the minced garlic and cook for one minute.
  3. Add the diced prawns and cook for five minutes.
  4. Once the five minutes is up, add the partly cooked rice and white wine. Stirring constantly, after one minute add the the saffron and chilli, taste and add any salt or white pepper.
  5. Keep about 250mls of boiling water next to you and as you stir (constantly) and monitor (constantly) add the water in to keep coating and cooking the rice.
  6. After five minutes, add the parsley, keep stirring and adding water and testing for salt until the rice is cooked and tender.
  7. Serve hot, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and with the (now chilled) left-over white wine.

Let me know if you tried this seafood and rice delight and what you thought?

Dobar Tek! Zivjeli! (Bon Appetit! Cheers and let’s live!)

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