Friday, December 12, 2008

Seven Fishes Feast - Prawn, saffron and tomato risotto

Joe of Italyville and Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita are hosting a new event, the Seven Fishes Feast. As both Joe and Maryann are of Italian heritage, they are sharing one of their Italian traditions with us through this event. The feast of the seven fishes is an Italian tradition. Every Christmas Eve, "the vigil" is kept with the custom of dining on 7 fish dishes as Italians await the birth of the Saviour at midnight.

To participate in this event, Joe and Maryann have asked us to create a fish or shellfish dish and post about it by December 18 - simple. In addition to the joy of participating, there are prizes to be won, so get cooking!

As luck would have it, a lovely prawn, saffron and tomato risotto was on my menu, with the recipe featuring on p40 of the December 2008 issue of BBC Australian Good Food. Tomatoes and prawns together is a wonderful flavour combination, and I had some good quality red saffron threads from my blogging friend,
Ivy, that I could use. I bought New Zealand prawns and lovely fresh vine-ripened tomatoes from Prahran market. This dish was delicious - slightly spicy, but not so much as to overwhelm the delicate flavour of the prawns. The hardest part about preparing the dish is de-heading and deveining the prawns - never my favourite job.

To make this tasty yet simple risotto, you will need:

4 cups chicken stock
1 pinch saffron threads
40g butter
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 diced fresh tomatoes
12 large cooked prawns, de-headed, peeled and deveined (but tails intact to make them "pretty")
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Heat the stock and saffron in a large suacepan; bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, leaving the stock over the heat.

Melt the butter in a large frypan, then add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring all the while.

Add 1 cup of stock from the simmering saucepan to the rice, and stir it until the stock has been absorbed by the rice. Repeat untl all of the stock has been added and the rice is tender. Add the tomato to the rice, and cook for a further 3 minutes until the tomato is soft. Add the prawns and toss thorugh the rice, cooking until the prawns are heated through (if your prawns were purchased cooked and are therefore cold). If you bought green (uncooked) prawns, you will need to cook them before adding them to the risotto.

Divide the risotto evenly between 4 plates and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Thanks to Joe and Maryann for hosting this fun event!


Happy cook said...

That risotto have a beautiful colour and it looks delcious.

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely dish. Thanks for participating in our event! Have a very merry Christmas :)

natalia said...

Ciao ! I didn't know this tradition of the seven fishes !!! We do eat fish on the 24th but I didn't know about the seven !!

Lorraine E said...

This looks delicious Cakelaw! I love prawns in risotto and I would definitely make this dish as it looks so appealing :)

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Happy Cook - I think cheery red is just right for the season.

Hi Maryann, thank you for hosting. Hope they've chopped down all the trees on that forest channel ...

Hi Natalia, this is new to me too - although I am not Italian :). A friend of mine has an Italian husband - perhaps I can ask him more about it.

Thanks Lorraine, I'm with you - if it contains prawns, I am there.

Ivy said...

Cake this is one of my favourite recipes and I made it a few days ago as well.

The Blonde Duck said...

It looks like you had a fun time!

adele said...

Mmm. I love seafood and rice dishes, and this makes me think of summer.

December 18th, you say? Maybe I can squeeze in a fish dish... maybe...

Jadeane said...

Lovely dish! Three of my faves.. risotto, prawn and saffron! Happy holidays!

Max mickle said...

This seafood looks so beautiful with the colors, I'm sure it'll be a big hit with the kids! Nice colors! Although I'm to a big fan of seafood, this sure looks yummy! I'm normally the one that will say no to seafood.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ivy, definitely a goodie.

I did Duckie!

Thanks Adele.

Hi Jadeanne, hope you had hapy holidays too.

Hi Max, happy to hear that you are tempted ;)