Monday, February 21, 2011

The Princess and her Peas...


Another long absence and a rethink about blogging.

If you're still with me, hang in there.

If you haven't been here before, welcome!

If you're wondering what the heck has been going on, then wonder no longer.

I've simply had Bloggers Block. You know, like writers block. I've also, truthfully been facing some middle age related health issues to, which are now being resolved. Say amen to that~

I've also made a decision that in between my blissful musings, I will introduce you to some of my families favourite frugal, yet fabulous meals.

So, onward.

Here is a meal that is the epitome of 'less is more'. I've always been a great believer in presentation, presentation, presentation. And indeed that is what this blog is all about. The presentation of a meal, a gift, a breakfast or lunch tray for a loved one...it's all about showing you care.

This is a green pea risotto...truly peasant fare...dolled up with just five fat sea scallops (Coquilles St Jacques). It's a meal I enjoyed at La Pavillon at the end of the Champs Elysees a few years ago. It's one I've successfully replicated at home for many special and not so special dinners.

The Princess and her Peas

4 servings

You need:

2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cups boiling water
4 vegetable stock cubes
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
Good knob of butter
Handful of grated cheese
Chopped fresh herbs (optional)

You will also require:

One serving of fish per person eg. 3-5 scallops, 1-2 sardines or whiting fillets, a slim fillet of fresh salmon. Don't go overboard. The fish component is almost a garnish in this case. Two to three succulent mouthfuls is worth far more than a tummy full of ordinary. Go to the trouble to find a good fresh fish market for this. It's worth the extra effort, honestly. Avoid supermarket fish if possible. It's just not the same.

In a large microwave safe bowl, add the rice and the oil. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir well to coat the rice in the oil.

Crumble the stock cubes into the rice, and add one cup of boiling water. Stir well to dissolve. Microwave on high for four minutes.

Stir well for 30 seconds. Add a further cup of boiling water. Microwave for six minutes.

Repeat this step one more time.

Check the rice for doneness. It should be tender but not sloppy, but allow for your family preferences. If it's still too chewy, add more water, half a cup at a time and microwave for 2 minutes each time, stirring well after each addition.

The amount of water used varies, but it usually ends up being around 4 cups or a little more.

Meanwhile, steam the peas in a little simmering water on your stovetop until they are soft.

Crush the peas with a masher. Add to the rice and heat for one more minute.

Allow to sit while you pan fry the little scallops or fillets of whiting, sardines or salmon. Any or all are a wonderful accompaniment. I like to pan fry my fish for about 4 minutes on one side, so it's nearly cooked through and super browned and crunchy on that side, then flip it over to just finish for about a minute. Obviously for a thin fillet like whiting, you'd only saute briefly on each side.

While the fish finishes on the second side, quickly add the butter and cheese and herbs to your risotto, stir well, and spoon into shallow bowls.

Top artfully with your scallops or fish fillets, drizzle with flavoured oil (we love hazelnut or orange infused extra virgin olive oil) and serve immediately.

Accept compliments graciously.

What's on your tray of bliss today?



 

11 comments:

  1. Definitely still with you Mimi! This risotto sounds delicious. :)

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  2. Hi Mimi, sounds easy and looks deliciuos !
    I don't own a microwave never have but I could do it on the stove, I've never cooked aborio rice before. Yes I know what you mean with writers block or in this case bloggers block. When I first started blogging I was posting a few ideas a day then I was blogging one a day then I decided Mon,Wed,Fri. then we had no phone line for 2 weeks from 29 Jan To 11 Feb, So no blogging in that time. Thought is was a great time to do more crafting/sewing to put on my blog. Blogging has been great for me as I have always 100's of ideas racing around in my head a great way to document and free up some brain space (no wonder I always feel fatigued). But for the first time in my life my brain is starting to feel empty ...this is good on one level but not so good for my blog I've still got a list and I still get a few ideas popping into my head ...I really would like to blog about 3 or 4 times a week and still do all the other things that I really love to do like go to the beach , read, cook,sew & craft...Did you take a look at my tutorial for my shabby chic linen bag here is the link if you may have missed it.
    http://simpleliving-sherrie.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-shabby-chic-linen-bag.html
    Hope your health is improving, believe me I know what it's like struggling to find answers to health problems .
    Cheers Sherrie
    p.s You have a great day Mim :):)

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  3. Hi Sherrie....yes of course, stovetop would be fine...a lot more stirring involved though...lol! I know what you mean about busy brains. I give myself a headache sometimes. But it does ebb and flow, and health issues don't help. But it's all good now. (((hugs))

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  4. Hi Mim's

    Making this tonight :]

    Sounds delish. Big risotta fans in this house~!

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  5. Oops typo risotto fans also ;]

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  6. Hi gorgeous...hope the family liked it!

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  7. This looks so tasty. Have just found your blog but looking forward to reading more.

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  8. Thankyou and welcome Serendipity!

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  9. Hi there, Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and that I am awarding you the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD! Hope you'll head over to http://simpleliving-sherrie.blogspot.com/
    Warm Regards
    Sherrie
    Have a great day

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx