Saturday, March 12, 2011

A quick shrimp soup!

Since I cook myself, after a day's work, my energy levels only allow me to cook really simple dinners! Viveck and I love our soups, and these should be clear soups as far as possible! So I made this the other night, really quickly and it was delicious!

4 cups fish stock ( I used fish stock cubes)
250 gms cleaned shrimps (from a packet of frozen shrimps)
1 tblsp oil
1/4 cup chopped spring onions including the greens
6-8 button mushrooms chopped fine
1 carrot sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped green coriander
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
some boiled noodles

Heat oil, add spring onions and cook till onions are tender. Add sliced mushrooms, carrots and seasoning. Cover and allow the vegetables to sweat on a low flame for a couple of minutes. Raise the flame , add shrimps and cook till shrimps are done, a couple of mins. (Remember overcooking shrimps will make them hard.) Add stock and bring to boil and simmer for a couple of mins. Add celery and coriander and simmer for a couple of mins more. (Adding celery at the end allows it to remain crunchy and tastes wonderful in the soup). Put off the flame and add the lime juice and noodles and serve hot! 

Seafood Risotto

I have been really keen to make a risotto and have been storing this Arborio rice for a while. Went with Nishka to Metro Shop and Carry and bought a huge bag of mixed here it is. The recipe was a mixture of some ideas from the net, Nigella and Jamie Oliver!

250 gms Arborio Rice
300-400 gms mixed sea food ( the frozen bag had a wonderful mixture of tiny shrimps, squid, octupus etc.)
3 tblsps olive oil
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 dry red chilli
1 cup chopped celery
1 small onion finely chopped
100 ml white wine
800 ml fish stock ( I made it with fish stock cubes)
2 tablespoons tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 tblsp fresh basil or parsley chopped

Heat oil, and add the garlic and red chilli. Fry for a few seconds till garlic changes colour. Remove the red chilli and discard it, now add the seafood . On a medium flame, fry for a few mins. (it cooks very quickly), and then remove and set aside. You are left with a wonderfully flavoured oil with the seafood juices. Keeping the flame medium, add onions and celery and cook till onions are translucent.Now add the rice and stir it to make sure it is well coated with the oil. Add the white wine and keep stirring till the wine has completely evaporated. (Its the first time I did this and it was wonderful how the grains of rice absorbed the flavour of the wine, so when you ate the risotto there was a subtle flavour of the wine in every mouthful!) Now add the tomato puree, and the salt and pepper, stir well. Start adding the stock a couple of ladles at a time. Once this gets absorbed, add the next two ladles. It takes around 15 mins for all the stock to get absorbed. Keep stirring so that the rice does not stick to the pot. The stock should be kept on a low flame, so that it remains hot when you pour it in. (This is a time consuming process but needs to be done to ensure the rice doesn't become a soupy sludge!!) Once all the stock has been poured in the rice should be cooked 'al dente'. Now add the seafood and raise the heat and cook through. About a minute. Add the chopped parsley or basil and serve hot. Risotto should be served 'al onda' (like a wave) which means it should flow a little when you serve it on to the plate. Serve with Parmesan cheese.