Archives for posts with tag: Jamie Oliver

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Once you have mastered the basic technique of a risotto, the possibilities are endless. I learned the basics from Jamie’s Kitchen, still my most favourite Jamie Oliver cookbook and one that has guided me successfully through many culinary experiments in the past. One of the best tips I’ve picked up from Jamie is that you really need to keep stirring the risotto to give it the creamiest of textures. Many times I have nursed a sore arm due to this tip! In my little kitchen, my two hot plates sit atop a miniature bench oven, which means that I also have to stand on tippy toe to see inside the pan! But I digress (and exaggerate). A perfectly cooked risotto is well worth the effort, and the pain is not so bad as I make out 😉 Tonight’s dinner turned out really well, as I was looking for something really simple yet still flavourful, and this risotto was both of these. I used a small sprinkling of chilli flakes in this recipe, but you could easily do without if you prefer.

Prawn Risotto with Lemon and Thyme 

1 and 1/2 cups arborio rice

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

1 teaspoon lemon rind

2-3 cups chicken stock

1 wineglass of a dry white wine

400g uncooked fresh prawns

Juice from 1/2 lemon

A few sprigs of fresh thyme, to serve

Heat the oil and butter together in a medium to large saucepan. Slowly sauté the onion until translucent, then add the rice and chilli flakes and coat in the oil and butter mixture. Add in the lemon rind, followed by the white wine. Adding the wine first will cook off the alcohol and leave behind a rich and deeper flavour. Keep stirring the rice until all of the liquid is absorbed, then continue to add ladles full of the chicken stock, stirring between each addition until the liquid is absorbed. It should take around twenty minutes to get through all the liquid. Just before your last addition of liquid, add the prawns and stir through with the rest of the liquid until just cooked. Remove the risotto from the heat, add the juice of half a lemon and place the lid on the top of the pan. Let the risotto sit for a minute or so, but not too long, else it will dry out. Divide between your plates and sprinkle the fresh thyme over the top of the risotto.

Bon Appétit!

*Serves 4

 

 

 

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It’s been a busy week in the Balmain Kitchen, as I’ve had two lots of dinner guests over and been researching lots of new recipes, as well as fighting off a sore throat (again!) and recovering from the city2surf last weekend. It’s been a good one though, and both of my dinner soirees turned out to be successful and relaxing affairs with great company and what I hope was great food..although I have decided that there will definitely be a maximum of two guests in the Balmain Kitchen, as three man dinners are about as much as my humble abode can handle! The thing I’ve been quite possibly the most excited about this week however, is my new red chair! I braved Ikea on a weeknight to search out another chair ahead of my first dinner guests, and found the perfect little red chair which is made even better by the fact that it folds up so I can store it under the bed if I need to..but I like it so much that I keep it in the corner anyway!!

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Here’s my recipe for a dinner I made for my sister and cousin last night. It’s a simple, inexpensive and satisfying meal for lovers of bacon and mushrooms 🙂

Spaghetti w Bacon and Mushroom

8 rashers of shortcut bacon, chopped

150g button mushrooms, sliced

1 big handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

500g spaghetti

1 tbsp butter

1-2 tbsp olive oil

Cracked black pepper

Parmesan cheese, to serve

Serves 4-6

Cook the pasta until just cooked (try not to overcook it as you’re going to add it to the pan again later). While it’s cooking, fry the bacon pieces in some of the olive oil a separate pan until slightly crispy and remove. Add a little more of the olive oil and the butter, then fry the mushrooms and parsley until the mushrooms are slightly softened and brown. Return the bacon to the pan and some cracked black pepper and stir together for about 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the spaghetti to the pot with the bacon mixture and the reserved cooking water and mix together over a low heat for about a minute or so. You can add some more olive oil if necessary but I wouldn’t overdo it otherwise your pasta will taste too oily..try a little more of the reserved pasta water or a squeeze of lemon juice if it’s looking a little dry. All you need to do next is serve it up, with some parmesan and more cracked pepper! Bon appétit!

For my other dinner guests, I tried out George Socratous’ Beef Stroganoff in the Jamie Oliver Magazine. You can get the recipe here. This one turned out quite well, and is a great staple meal for your repertoire of comforting mid-week dinners. The addition of lemon juice towards the end of the cooking stage helped to keep the dish nice and light and balance out the richness of the sour cream and brandy. Definitely a keeper recipe!

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Well, that’s the wrap of my week. I’ll leave you with some pics from my sleepy Saturday..

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Winter oranges and a smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese and baby spinach roll…delish!!

Until next time,

Trini xo