‘Risotto’ of local squid, prawns and broth with curry leaves

‘Risotto’ of local squid, prawns and broth with curry leaves

By
From
Marque
Serves
10
Photographer
Stuart Scott

This dish came from a play on Sushi Nigiri where we used finely diced squid instead of rice and topped it with a fine sliver of tuna. Once we had started considering squid as rice it seemed logical that risotto could be made with no rice. This dish originated at Marque in 2005 and has become our most widely copied.

Ingredients

Method

  1. To prepare the squid, remove the tentacles, gut and cartilage from a 1 kilogram squid. Cut the squid down its cartilage seam to open it flat with the inside facing upwards. Use paper towels to remove any remaining gut and rub away the thin membrane and skin. Quickly rinse and pat dry the squid. Once clean, stack and freeze the squid until very firm. Use a heavy knife to cut the frozen squid into small pieces the size of a grain of rice. Keep refrigerated until required.
  2. The creamy component of the risotto is achieved with cauliflower purée. To make the purée, take 1 small head of cauliflower and cut the florets finely, discarding the stalk. Place the florets in a heavy-based saucepan, cover with 1 litre milk and add a pinch of Murray River pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a low heat until soft . Strain the cauliflower, reserving the milk. Add the cauliflower to a blender and blend with just enough of the milk to form a smooth purée. Season to taste. Refrigerate until required.
  3. Sitting atop the risotto is a translucent disc of prawn. To prepare the prawn discs, cut twenty 10 centimetre squares of baking paper and lightly oil them. Cut 500 grams fresh prawn flesh (reserve the shells) in half and devein. Place a prawn half between two of the oiled paper squares. Use a small heavy-based saucepan to bang and flatten it to 2 millimetres thick. Remove the top square of paper and use a small off set palette knife to rearrange the prawn meat into a neat circle. Return the paper and tap with the pan once more to flatten. Repeat until you have ten prawn discs. Store between the squares of paper until required.
  4. To make the prawn broth, finely dice 1 small onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 celery stalk and 1 small carrot. Warm 100 millilitres extra virgin olive oil with the vegetables, then add the reserved prawn shells and 1 teaspoon tomato passata. Sauté until the vegetables are golden and the prawn shells are red. Cover with 300 millilitres chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Using a ladle, regularly skim away any oil that rises to the top and reserve this for later use. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
  5. To make the prawn oil, take the reserved oil skimmed from the stock and pass through an oil filter to clarify.
  6. To prepare the fried curry leaves, heat 300 millilitres vegetable oil to 170ºC. Fry the leaves until translucent. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
  7. To prepare the leek, finely dice the white part of 1 leek into 3 millimetre dice and wash well.
  8. To cook the ‘risotto’, place 100 grams butter in a 2 litre saucepan over a moderate–high heat and heat until the butter just starts to foam. Add the diced calamari, 10 heaped tablespoons of the cauliflower purée and 10 tablespoons of the diced leek and mix together. Season well with Murray River pink salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the squid is just opaque, then remove the pan from the heat. Divide the risotto among ten warm serving bowls.
  9. Briefly place the prawn discs onto the hot stovetop or a very hot heavy-based pan (still with the paper on). Leave them there for just 5 seconds – this will cook the prawn and allow the paper to be peeled off .
  10. To serve, top each serving of risotto with a prawn disc. Use a wand blender to froth the prawn broth and spoon the froth over the risotto. Top with the fried curry leaves and a teaspoon of the prawn oil.
Tags:
Marque
Mark
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Pei
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