ATTENTION, ATTENTION, EVERYONE! SUMMER IS NOT OVER YET!
(And now I feel I can refer to more than just myself as to my surprise I have discovered today that I have 12 followers...sooo exciting! However, how do I set it up to give my readers notice of new blogs? I'm such an old hack).
Despite being close to the official end of Summer, I found myself having dinner in the garden last night at 9.30 without even the slightest faint of shiver. I had spent my entire day working inside and the result of it was that my fingers were frozen, my toes were frozen, my nose was frozen (why am I such a whimp?). So I assumed that 10C was the real temperature. I discovered that between outside and inside there were at least 8C difference (WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR HOUSE?!?).
So, being overly excited at my discovery, I decided to host a solstice feast in the garden with full moon lighting and plenty of candles. And some fish; definitely also some good white wine. I even scattered around the grass some tea- lights to give a fairy effect. As always, I forgot to take a picture (still haven't recharged the batteries..useless me!) so you just have to use your imagination! But I assure you it looked lovely!
As my new resolution is to finish all the ingredients we have in the fridge before going shopping again, I assembled what we had which sounded promising to me: risotto rice, smoked salmon, clotted cream (from the fabulous scones I made again last Sunday - not the ones from August!), chive, mint, peas, and parmesan.
Knowing the feelings that the majority of English people seem to have towards peas, I am sure that most of you will be weirded out by the vegetable-fish combination, but they do bring something special to a plain risotto like this.
You can also use frozen peas (which is what I did, despite having loudly advertised how much better fresh peas are...). They will cook easily in the pan with the risotto.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
200g risotto rice (pudding rice also does the trick); half an onion; 1 vegetable stock; 750ml water; 2 dollops of clotted cream (you can replace it with normal cream - healthier probably! - of creme fraiche, if you want to continue with the non-healthy theme); 100g trimmed smoked salmon (Sainsbury's basic is quite all right); 1 handful of chive; 1 handful of mint leaves; 100g parmesan.
> Chop the onion very finely (seriously!) and golden in a pan with olive oil.
> Pour the rice in the pan and stir for a couple of minutes until it becomes well coated with the oil and onions.
> Prepare the stock: pour the water (hot) onto the stock and slowly add it to the rice to cover it. Let the rice simmer and add gradually the water to avoid it dries out.
> When the rice is almost cooked, add the chopped herbs, the cream and the peas.
> Stir well to ensure all the ingredients are mixed together and the peas have cooked.
> Sprinkle all the parmesan and mix so that it melts.
> Serve it on the plate and arrange the salmon on top and a few remaining strings of chive. The idea is that the salmon does not cook in the rice but folds gently with the rest retaining its flavour.
The moon was really full. I can now have a haircut.