Archives for posts with tag: Lemon

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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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This weekend I went for a morning swim at Sydney’s beautiful Manly Beach. It seems that the water is getting warmer every week, as I managed to stay in for at least ten minutes this time! It was a beautiful Spring day and perfect for the walk from Queenscliff at the north end of Manly beach all the way up to Shelley Beach, about an hour’s leisurely walk there and back. Had I more time to spare (and by that I mean more money in the parking metre!) I would have loved to have done the Manly to Spit Bridge walk, a 10km walk which takes you up over North Head and through the Sydney Harbour National Park to the Spit Bridge in Seaforth. Next time I think I’ll take the ferry and do just that.

What I love about Manly is the fun loving vibe along the beach. There’s always so much going on in Manly and the beach is big enough to cater a crowd without feeling crowded. From the surf schools to the beach volley ball courts and surf life saving clubs, the beach is a hub of activity for locals and tourists alike, and has a great promenade for running/walking/cycling/rollerblading/pram pushing, as well as plenty of grass and shade. I also love the walk around to Shelley Beach because of its Mediterranean feel and the serenity of the beach itself, tucked away from the wind and one of Sydney’s best spots for snorkelling.

On the Corso, there are plenty of shops and restaurants and on Saturdays and Sundays you can visit the Manly Market Place, a smallish market but good enough that if money were no object I could have found something to buy at every stall. Home of the Manly Jazz Festival and the Manly Food, Wine & Sustainability Festival, there are plenty of reasons to visit Manly if not just for the sun, surf and sand alone.

A few quick facts I learned about Manly: The town area was the traditional home of the Kay-ye-my and Cannalgal clans. When Captain Arthur Phillip Jackson sailed into what we now know as Manly Cove in 1788, he wrote that the natives of the land had waded into the water unarmed and that their ‘confidence and manly behaviour’ made him give the name of Manly Cove to the area. An initially amicable relationship turned sour when it became clear that the visitors would outstay their welcome and also introduce a wave of smallpox disease, kidnappings, theft and shootings that would wipe out almost the entire existing community. It is a sad fact that the beautiful surroundings and fun loving Manly we enjoy today comes at the cost of such a dark chapter in our nation’s history.

All in all, it was a great day to explore and learn a little about one of Sydney’s most treasured spots, and I can’t wait to visit again. The council does a great job of keeping the town clean and it’s clear that this is a corner of Sydney that the locals take a lot of pride in. I’d recommend taking the bus or ferry if you can, as it’s only about 30 minutes either way from the city, and then you don’t have to worry about paying for or finding a park.

After a big walk and a refreshing swim I had a big appetite for these zucchini fritters, which I had been meaning to try after coming across the recipe on one of my favourite blogs, Smitten Kitchen.This recipe is fail safe, and the result was delicious! I highly recommend.

Until next time,

Trini xo

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Hiya! Only two more sleeps until the weekend is here, and as I’m running in the city to surf this weekend I figured I finally have a good excuse to carb load..Here’s another recipe that makes for a simple and satisfying mid-week meal..if you like zucchini that is (which I definitely do)! This one is also inexpensive which is great if you’re on budget, which I am..at least in theory anyway 😉

Zucchini Ribbon Spaghetti w Lemon + Chilli

1 clove garlic

1 small fresh red chilli, finely chopped

2 tsp lemon rind (or more)

Big squeeze lemon juice

1 zucchini, sliced finely into ribbons

1 handful of basil leaves

250g spaghetti

Parmesan, grated, to serve

Serves 2

First up, cook your spaghetti. When it’s about 3-4 minutes away from being cooked, put your zucchini ribbons in the water with the pasta and then cook until the pasta is ready..I err on the side of not quite ready because you’re going to cook it a little more in the pan later (and I don’t like soggy pasta!!!).

Once you have drained your pasta and spaghetti, add a little olive oil to the empty saucepan and fry the garlic, chilli and lemon rind for about a minute or so, then return your pasta, zucchini and the basil to the pan and fry for about a minute or so. I like to add in a little cracked pepper at this point and a big squeeze of lemon juice. Then all you need to do is serve it up and add some grated parmesan and cracked pepper..and a little extra lemon juice if you like! It would also be nice to crumble a little feta over the top, but alas, I am all out! Anyway, still tasted great!

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By the way, tonight I’m listening to Haim’s EP Forever and doing some research for new recipes ahead of my first dinner guest next week (eek!)…and I love love love them! I’ve been a big fan of Falling and The Wire on JJJ, and I can’t wait for their debut album Days Are Gone to be released this September..Haim have a great sound, rock and pop mixed up in the best possible way with an edgy feel that is pretty different to a lot of stuff I’ve heard recently..although they do remind me of one of my old favourite bands Tiddas…now sadly disbanded 😦 Would have loved to have seen them live at Splendour..why, why, why did I not go??

Anyway..It’s Wednesday..stay strong! The weekend is nearly here 🙂

Trini xo