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
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!