As I promised in the original risotto post the possibilities are endless. The possibilities with tomatoes, fennel and saffron are also endless. That’s a broth or sauce that I use a lot with seafood, and I have a bunch of recipes already published such as Squid ink pasta with tomato-fennel-calamari sauce, Saffron tagliatelle with tomato, fennel, saffron sauce and pan fried shrimp, Black cod with caramelized fennel and Manila clams in tomato-fennel-saffron broth, and Squid ink pasta with tomato-fennel-saffron sauce and pan fried shrimp.
serves: 4 difficulty: easy prep time: 30 min
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced very finely. Apparently the French Launch standards is – the onion pieces have to be as small as a grain of rice!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 1/3 cups of Arborio rice (1/3 cup rice per person is portioned for a middle course. Increase to 1/2 cup per person if this is a main course).
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 fennel bulb
- pinch of saffron
Risotto is great to serve at a dinner party but it needs to be finished right before it is served, and it takes about 20 min to cook. So unless you are OK missing half the conversation at your dinner party, it is tough to prepare after your guests have arrived. This recipe includes a trick that I learned from a Jamie Oliver cookbook that allows to prepare the risotto ahead of time and just finish it in 5 min when ready to serve.
Chop the onion. Peel the onion and slice in half lengthwise. Finely mince half an onion (and user the rest for something else). Apparently the standard at French Laundry for mincing onion for risotto is for each shred of onion to be as small or smaller than a grain of rice.
Dice the fennel bulb. It doesn’t need to be as fine as the onion, but do you best :).
Put the stock in a saucepan, and heat it to boiling point. Once it start boiling, reduce the heat to low.
Heat a medium saucepan, and add the olive oil. Place the minced onions and fennel in the pan, and sweat them on medium heat until the onions are translucent.
Add the rice and stir. Sauté the rice and the onions for two minutes on medium heat being careful to not brown the onions. Add the white wine and cook until almost all of it has evaporated and the mixture is dry. .
Puree the tomatoes in a food processor. Add the pinch of saffron to the risotto, and the pureed tomatoes.
Add a ladle of the stock, and stir frequently. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, add another ladle of stock.
Continue cooking the risotto on medium heat lightly stirring with a wooden spoon until the liquid has almost evaporated. Repeat with a total of 7 ladles of stock. Once all the stock is incorporated, turn off the heat, and stir the risotto to let it cool off. When you taste it, it should be still quite al dente. Season with 1 tsp of salt and some black pepper. Taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed. Stir it every 2 min two more times. Now the risotto is almost ready, and it will take 5 min to finish before serving.
When ready to finish, whip the cream to medium peaks.
Reheat the risotto and the remaining stock. Add 2 more ladles of heated stock to the risotto and stir. Add the whipped cream and stir.
The risotto is ready. To cook the scallops, follow the instructions from Scallops with English peas purée and porcini mushrooms or from Pan fried scallops over sautéed cauliflower .
Here I have garnished with pea shoot and a slice of cherry tomatoe.
Voila! Ready to serve!
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