For the last 23 years, Friday nights have been “date night”.
Ralph and I are entrepreneurs. As such, we have never enjoyed a 9 to 5 kind of day or a 40 hour work week. There have been times when it felt that all we did was work. I am not complaining. We love our work life but we love our time together more.
To ensure that we would have time for each other, years ago we designated Friday night as our “time”. No matter what is going on, no matter how busy or crazy life is, it all is put on hold for one evening.
Sometimes we will dine out but if Ralph has been on the road all week, I will cook…
This past Friday night I prepared Risotto Con Calamari. I had made a lobster stock several weeks ago which I used in the risotto. The homemade stock adds a rich flavour but I always like a little heat in my fish risotto so I added a scotch bonnet pepper! When Ralph ate his first bite his remark was, “Holy snappin’ garter belts this is hot!” If you love a real kick try a scotch bonnet but if you like something a little more subtle a fresh red chilli will work perfectly. You can also leave the pepper out altogether and just enjoy the pure flavour of the squid.
RISOTTO CON CALAMARI
1 cup Arborio rice
3 1/2 cups fish or lobster stock, heat to boiling point
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 clove of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 squid tubes, cleaned and cut into strips
1 fresh hot pepper [optional]
Place a risotto dish or medium size skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and then add the butter and allow butter to melt and froth.
Add chopped onion and half of the minced garlic…saute gently for 5 minutes then stir in the Arborio rice.
Stir the rice into the onion mixture until the rice kernals are covered with butter and oil. You want to warm the rice so that it is ready to absorb the hot stock.
Slowly add the hot stock, 1/2 cup at a time…stir slowly and constantly. As the 1/2 cup portion of stock becomes absorbed, repeat the procedure until all of the stock has been incorporated. This will take approximately 25 minutes.
When you have reached the last 1/2 cup of stock, place a skillet over high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil…when oil is smoking quickly add the prepared squid strips, peppers and remaining garlic. Allow to saute for 1 minute then give the squid a toss. Remove from heat immediately and stir entire contents of the skillet into the risotto.
In Italy cheese is never served with fish so grated parmigiano is not added at any point to this risotto. I garnished the risotto with a dollop of basil pesto.
Risotto is a lovely meal to build an evening around!
Thanks for reading!