9 July 2011

Fresh Pea (Pod) & Smoky Bacon Risotto

~  Menu ~

Fresh Pea & Smoky Bacon Risotto
White Wine

Our friend Carol gave us loads of peas from her garden and I had a nostalgic old popping session; I don’t think I’ve shelled pease since I was a child.  I have always thought that frozen peas were as good as fresh and I still think they freeze very well but it turns out they are not as good as fresh after all.


These were sweet and tender and perfect and even raw they were delicious.


For dinner last night I had ... 
Accidentally Peppered Salmon
Fresh Peas, Asparagus,  New Potatoes 
Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise

... spicy as heck.  What happened was the lid fell off the pepper grinder and dumped 50g of whole peppercorns all over my dinner.  Once I had removed most of them the dinner was pretty good but tepid.   It was all very disappointing.

After shelling the peas it seemed a shame to throw away all the pods so today I made up a risotto for lunch and, to be frank, although it was delicious I wouldn’t bother with the pea pod broth again – lots of faff for little flavour.  So ignoring the fact that I simmered pea pods, onion and carrot for 20 minutes with the lid on and then strained pressing on the debris to extract all the flavour here is the recipe.

Fresh Pea (Pod) & Smoky Bacon Risotto – serves 1

½ tbsp olive oil
2 rashers smoky bacon cut into strips
½ a small onion finely diced
a little garlic
1 tsp butter
100g risotto rice
a splash of white wine
350ml stock (pea pod stock if you wish) – hot, simmering even
a handful of fresh peas
30g parmesan or similar

~   Cook the bacon in the olive oil till turning golden, set aside.
~   Cook the onion in the remaining oil till turning translucent and golden.
~   Add the tsp of butter and the little bit of garlic then stir in the rice till it is all coated with the buttery oniony goo and turning a little translucent itself round the edges.
~   Add the wine and cook, stirring, till it has disappeared.
~   Stir in about a quarter of the stock and simmer over low heat, stirring often, till it is all absorbed then add a second quarter of stock and repeat until the stock has all gone.
~   Half way through adding the stock stir in the peas.
~   The risotto is done when the rice has a little bite to it and is bathed in a delicious creamy (texture) broth.
~   Stir in the parmesan cheese and the bacon to heat through, cover, turn off the heat and rest a minute.
~   Eat



I used to love cooking risotto at work – such a wonderful excuse for not doing several things at once; a very pleasant 20 minute break with just a cup of Chef’s Coffee, a wooden spoon and maybe a little reading.

Another childhood memory I experienced the other day was I got absoflippin’lutely (or similar) soaked walking up the hill from Padstow.  I sheltered in the church for a while, which was nice, and then under the lych gate and then dodged from tree to tree but eventually I had to got out into the full downpour.  I can’t remember this happening to me since the 60s and then I thought it was fun! 


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