... I wonder how many times this year i'm going to write the words 'so Spring has finally arrived' without it becoming a bit of a tired cliche... it's been stop-start, or should that be start-stop, for the last few weeks but now that the little lambs are waking me up in the morning with their delightful bleating from the fields opposite my bedroom window I truly believe that Spring has finally decided to peek it's frozen head over the horizon for good... just go and look outside and you'll see it for yourself... and whilst we may all have complained that it's taken simply ages to get going this year I think we need to look at the year like an delicately ageing Hollywood star... don't rush the season's onto her or she will become a bitter old hag well before her time... be thankful that she was frozen still in time for a little while and rejoice in this late blooming of life and colour... it will be very fleeting and we'll miss her when she's gone and crumbled into Autumn...
Spicy Fish Stew Risotto
I was actually surprised at how simple this dish was to make, especially when it really packed a punch in the taste department... the other thing I loved about it - and this may sound really odd, but even though it was rammed with 5 different kinds of fish and shellfish it wasn't too fishy, it has that wonderfully fresh fish flavour with a little richness from the wine and the tomato... the fish I chose were simply what I had in my freezer, part of the wonderful Fish is the Dish - Happy Healthy Hearts campaign delivery. Any white fish will work here so simply go with what you've got or what's on special offer in the shops...
1 hake fillet
1 haddock fillet
1 coley fillet
250g frozen prawns
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 cloves garlic – crushed
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x tin’s worth of good quality vegetable stock
a glass of white wine
100g risotto rice
cut all the fish into bite-sized chunks and set aside. I like to leave the scallops whole as they’re so plump and delicious it’s a shame to cut them.
in a large heavy pan gently heat some butter and olive oil then add the onions, herbs and garlic and let them sauté for about 5 mins, then add the spices, stir and let them all sweat together for a further 10 mins or so until soft and beginning to brown.
add the tomatoes, stock and wine and let that come to a simmer before adding the fish. Stir and let it come to a simmer again before adding the rice. One more stir before putting the lid on and leaving on a gentle hear for 10 mins until the fish is cooked through and the rice is plump and al dente.
garnish with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
eat and of course, enjoy!