As you can see the site has changed a little bit. I am trying to go for something a little bit cleaner and brighter, something that makes my sometimes iffy photos look better perhaps. A lovely man called Paul worked on my banner, but they are all my pics (if not my cooking) which I am quite proud of. The fabulous chocolate brownie with prune ice cream is from Rufflets in St Andrews, a wonderful fish dish from Fishers in Edinburgh and of course Eggs Benedict from an infamous girls lunch at The Pantry. Hope you like the new look.
So on with the blog. It would be embarrassing for me to issue another challenge to all and sundry, seeing as I failed my own 2013 challenge so spectacularly, however I have issued myself a little bit of personal challenge which I don’t mind sharing with you. My challenge is to cook more seasonally! To many of you that seems like pretty basic stuff but I am not very good at this. There are many seasonal wonders I shy away from – kale, beetroot and game to name but three and I am absolutely shameless when it comes to buying strawberries from Timbuktu in January if I so desire them.
I was recently shamed by the wonderful Nicola over at http://www.eatwithoutwheat.blogspot.com who gets an organic fruit and veg box delivered and creates the most wonderfully creative dishes from purely seasonal produce. I used to get a vegetable box from a local farm but seemed to be left with enough carrots to feed Santa’s whole posse at the end of every week, then there was the aforementioned Kale which I would carefully consider and then try to forget about and lets not forget the weekly beetroot which was never cooked for fear of painting myself and the kitchen crimson.
Seems I was just not willing to put in the effort so although I am not quite ready to go for the veggie box again I am prepared to delve into a bit more seasonal cooking.
So what is seasonal in January:
Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, kale (of course), chard, Leeks, onions, parsnips, spinach, SPRING GREENS, winter squash, neeps, cauliflower, swede.
Apples, pears, early rhubarb
Wild duck, pheasant, venison, grouse, partridge
Lobster, SCALLOPS, halibut, mussels, sea bass
I decided to play it relatively safe for my first seasonal foray and chose scallops and spring greens from my seasonal list. I love making risotto. Some find it laborious because it needs your undivided attention but this is exactly why I like it. I often find it hard to concentrate on one task and often flit about making a half-arsed job of many things but risotto is another matter. It forces me to focus and I pretty much have a 100% success rate on a cracking dish. Perhaps if I could stay more focused on other things …..
Now for the recipe:
Ingredients – to serve 2
8oz risotto rice, 850ml good chicken stock (although I have used knorr stock cube and it worked out just fine), two big handfuls of spring greens, 75g parmesan grated, smallish lemon, 6 scallops
Cook the spring greens in boiling water for no more than 5 minutes and drain
Heat large pan over a medium heat and then toast the risotto rice stirring for a minute
Add one ladleful of the hot stock and stir till absorbed then lower the heat and add the rest of the stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is almost cooked and stock is absorbed
Stir in the Spring greens and cook for 3-5 minutes
At the same time that the spring greens are doing their stuff you need to fry the scallops for a few minutes on each side until nicely coloured – don’t overdo it
Remove risotto from the heat and add juice of the lemon and the Parmesan. Serve and sprinkle with some lemon zest and top with the scallops