If you're entertaining this week and want an extra special main dish that will really impress your guests, give this risotto recipe a go and there will be many compliments to the chef!
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED HADDOCK RISOTTO, SOFT-BOILED QUAIL EGGS AND PARSNIP CRISPS
For the quail eggs:
- Prepare a container of iced water. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully put the eggs in the pan. Boil for 1 minute and 25 seconds exactly. remove with a slotted spoon and transfer straight into the iced water. When cooled completely, gently peel the shells and set the eggs aside until serving. If you are having trouble peeling the eggs, place them in white wine vinegar for 1 hour; this will make them easier to peel as the vinegar will break down the shell.
- Peel the outer skin of the parsnip and discard. Then draw a vegetable peeler down the length of the parsnip to make thin ribbons. heat a pan of oil to 140°C or until a cube of bread goes golden in 1 minute 30 seconds; do not make it too hot or the crisps will burn. Place the strips of parsnip in the hot oil for around 45 seconds. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. The parsnips should be a light golden brown colour – any darker and they will taste bitter. These can be made the day before and stored in an airtight container.
- Put the chicken stock in a saucepan with the thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Then remove from the heat and leave for 30 minutes. remove the peppercorns, bay and thyme and return to the pan. Bring back to the boil and keep on a low heat.
- Put the olive oil in a separate large saucepan, add the shallots and cook, without colouring, until translucent. Add the rice with the salt and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and reduce until the rice has absorbed the wine and the mixture is almost dry. Add enough of the chicken stock to cover the rice and simmer for a few minutes, stirring continuously until the stock has been absorbed. Continue doing this, adding more stock until the rice is almost cooked, for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, lightly poach the diced smoked haddock in the milk for 3–4 minutes. This will soften the texture and give great flavour to the milk.
- When the rice is cooked but still slightly firm to the tooth, add 100ml of the haddock milk and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add the diced smoked haddock and the frozen peas. Continue stirring until the smoked haddock and peas are cooked. When both are cooked, add the butter and grated parmesan and stir thoroughly. Add the parsley at the last minute – the risotto should be creamy and a little soup-like.
- Spoon a portion of risotto into each bowl. Cut the quail eggs in half and place 4 halves around each plate. Garnish with the parsnip crisps, pea shoots and serve immediately.
- Quail eggs:
- 12 quail eggs
- Parsnip crisps:
- 1 large parsnip
- Oil for deep-frying
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 20 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 50ml olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 600g Arborio rice
- 3 pinches of salt
- 500ml white wine
- 250g smoked haddock fillet, skinned and diced
- 500ml milk
- 100g frozen peas
- 50g butter
- 50g grated parmesan
- ¼ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- Pea Shoots to garnish (optional)