Category Archives: Risotto

Three Dishes With One Fishes

This must the second or third time I’ve cooked a whole Goldband snapper. They are a fantastically flavoursome fish with big and chunky flesh. And when the juices solidify, they set like gelatin, the mark of a great fish.

This was another 0-40min cooking feat, if I say so my self.

Gas barbie on, fish on lemon grass with Asian shallots on foil. I’ve had enough of banana leaves recently, and though I like the smokey almost tobacco aroma it gives, you can have too much of a good thing. A slug of olive oil. Olive oil in Asian cooking I hear you ask. What kind of craziness is this?? Well, it’s high temperature cooking, so it’s more important for the oil not burn. And I have a 4litre tin of the Spanish stuff, so it is oil du jour.

Interestingly it stuck to the foil more than the banana leaves, which was annoying when it came to turning. When I did turn I chucked on some sliced courgettes.

I had some basil and coriander nearing a pre-terminal state in the fridge, so a variation of green shit using basil rather than mint. Simon’s recipe I think uses coconut cream, which is nice to have as a rich melting herb ‘butter’, but I like a looser sauce which I can be liberal with and get the rice wet and green.

This incarnation had,

  • 1 bunch basil leaves
  • 1 bunch corriander
  • 50g coconut powder in 50ml water
  • 2 shallots
  • juice of a lime
  • grated galangal

No garlic and no cumin or fish sauce in this one.

Anyway, whizzed up in the blender with a little water to allow blendage.

Basmati rice here this time and some yard long beans. Easy, aye.

Part deux of the fish was a risotto using the stock from the fish. The fish was in the fridge, all gelatinous and difficult to deal with with bits of foil everywhere, so I poured over a kettle of boiled water and made sure every single molecule of fishiness went into the saucepan.

Risotto easy as previously,

  • 1 onion, chopped and sweated in large chunk butter and olive oil,
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 250g risotto rice ( a fancy Italian one- Canaroli??)
  • stock ladled in as it cooked
  • cup or so of peas towards the end as it was looking a bit small!!
I quite like my fish risotto a bit looser, no quite soup, but not a thick stodgy mass, so I kept adding stock till this happened.
Part Trois was the flesh from the fish torn up and made into a salad with red pepper and cucumber as shown next to the risotto. Lots of olive oil and lime juice to dress.

Just in case you were concerned about this piscatarian lapse here’s the kebab I made Jo and Ben and other leavers. Well, they live a long way from the sea in Sheffield, neither are keen fish eaters.

Left to right- whole leg of lamb, 2 1 kg+ pieces of pork belly, 2 smaller pieces but with with skin!! Pork rubbed liberally with smoked Spanish paprika.

And to finish on another fishy note, here are some hopefully delicious roes which I am salting and hoping to have as a storecupboard source of marine essence for adding to pasta dishes etc. We’ll see…..





Goose Green, Goose Red

Acoustic exaggeration of size in birds via tracheal elongation: comparative and theoretical analyses W. T. Fitch

My landlord is a fine chap. Not only is he happy to mend holes in the plaster made by fowl children, but he delivers the odd feathered fowl as shown here, a Magpie Goose. Last year I spent over 2 hours feathering the little plucker, and could have done with a pheasant pluckers son……Unsurprisingly, there is little fat on a wild tropical goose, so the skin is not the crispy holy grail of a fattened raised bird. They are also quite small, the effort/reward ratio is rather high. I decided just to skin this one. Strung up by the legs and a slit through skin over breast bone.

The skin peels away like a jacket over the wings, but you have to be careful as you take it off the abdominal wall. You need to dissect around the anus or you end up with crap everywhere.

Once you’ve done that, you can draw out the guts, and keep the tasty liver, kidney, heart and lungs for making into forcemeat balls.

I really underestimated the extra time required for cooking on the bone with this rack of lamb which wasn’t too different in weight to the beef fillet I did the other day. So on carving the entire eye was raw, thank god the only customers were the family. So, Lamb chops instead after turning up the bbq to 11 and cutting along the bone. Lot of spring onion and some skinny aubergine around the edge to cook slowly.

This is becoming a staple risotto round these parts. Risotto, like most things, isn’t difficult to do well, but easy to blaspheme.

1 Onion, finely cut and fried in

1 oz butter and tbs olive oil (apprx = slug of/ chunk of)

When translucent, mix in

250g risotto rice (usually I do 330g as this is a 1/3 of a pack, fancy stuff shown only 500g)

600ml chicken stock, add 100ml or so at a time, keep stirring every few minutes.

then, when the rice is almost done (so about 2/3 stock) add

1/2 roast butternut squash, skin removed.

Stir regularly, this is vital to get the creamy texture of risotto.

Lots of parmesan to serve, salt/ pepper as required.