Baked Squid stuffed with Fennel & Vodka Risotto, with Lemon Thyme Beurre Blanc & steamed Asparagus
James'- Baked Squid stuffed with Fennel & Vodka Risotto, with Lemon Thyme Beurre Blanc & steamed Asparagus, enjoyed with West Brook Methode Traditionelle Blanc
Three fennel bulbs, with their green tops
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 small dried red chillies
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
1 litre chicken stock
100g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
300g risotto rice
100g pamesan, grated
Remove and discard the tough outer leaves of the fennel bulbs and finley chop the remainder of the bulbs.
Chop fennel tops and keep separately. In a pestle and mortar crush the garlic, dried chilli and fennel seeds with 1tsp sea salt.
In a bowl, mix the vodka, lemon juice and chopped fennel tops to allow their flavours to combine. Heat the chicken stock,
and check for seasoning. Melt half the butter and the olive oil in a saucepan, then add the chopped onion.
Cook for a minute or two, keeping the heat low, then add the fennel seed paste from the mortar and let it cook briefly before adding the chopped fennel bulb. Let this cook slowly until soft. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat each grain. start to add the hot stock,
ladle by ladle,stiring continuously,and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed by the rice before adding the next.
Continue until the rice is al dente, usually about 20 minutes, then stir in the remaining butter, vodka, fennel tops and lemon juice mixture.
Sprinkle with parmesan and stir.
6 rinced squid tubes
Stuff the squid tubes with risotto and seal open end with a skewer. Rub each stuffed tube with a little olive oil and bake on a tray
in an oven pre-heated to 200deg. C, for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and slice into 1 1/2 cm slices.
Serve with fresh steamed asparagus and drizzle with lemon thyme beurre blanc.
Lemon thyme beurre blanc
60mL (1/4 cup) white wine vinegar
60mL (1/4 cup) dry white wine
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
Leaves picked from sprig of thyme
4 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
180g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
2tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and ground white pepper
Place the vinegar, wine, shallots,thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to about 2tbsp. Strain the vinegar mixture through
a fine sieve into a small frying pan. Discard shallots etc. Place the frying pan over low heat. Add the butter, 1 cube at a time,
whisking constantly and adding another cube only when the previous cube has been completely incorporated. (It's important to chill the butter before adding it to the vinegar reduction. If the butter is warm it may melt too quickly, making it harder to incorporate into the
liquid and causing the mixture t split.)
Once all the butter is incorporated (this will take about 8 minutes), remove from heat. Whisk in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. (We used unsalted butter for this recipe as it is easier to taste and season the sauce to your liking at the end.)