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Dublin Bay Prawn Risotto

(enough for 4 as a main course with a salad or 6 as a starter)

The 1.5kg of whole Prawns will give you a little over 225g (8oz.) of Prawn meat. The idea is to stretch out this as economically as possible.
1.5 kg (3 lbs.) whole raw Dublin Bay Prawns
400g (14 oz.) Risotto Rice
4 Med Onions
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Sticks Celery
2 Carrots
450g (1 lb.) Vine Tomatoes
1 glass white wine
1 knob Butter (30g roughly)

First shell the prawns.
Bend backwards and spap apart first to separate the head from the tail.
Keep the heads you will want them for the stock.
Get a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil and plunge in the tails.
Boil for 4 to 5 mts only to cook.
Take these out with a slotted spoon (keep the cooking liquour)
Now you have to shell the prawns.
Pinch the tails between your forefinger and thumb until they crack.
Then open out the tails and slip out the prawn meat.
(This requires a bit of practice but gets easier as you go on)
Put these to one side.
Then make the fish stock.This is the main flavour of the dish.
In a large (and sturdy ) bowl or old pot bash the prawn heads with a rolling pin to crack the heads and claws and to facilitate the release of as much of the prawn flavour as possible.
In a large pot put 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Slice two of the onions (no need to peel) Put the onions in the oil and cook until they start to colour.
Reduce the heat to low and tip in the crushed shells with any juice you have crushed out.Fry these for 5 mts with the onion then tip in the water you have cooked the prawns in. (You should have about 1.5 ltrs -make up with water if necessary.)
Boil this mixture briskly for about 20 mts then strain, discard the shells and onion and pour the stock back into the pot and continue simmering. You should have about 1 ltr (2 pints)

Peel and finely chop your remaining two onions, likewise chop the celery and carrots, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, peel and discard the seeds and chop finely.
Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into a pot and add the vegetables.
Stir and fry these on a moderate heat until they begin to soften.
Now add the rice and stir this into the vegetables and oil until it starts to get translucent. Now start adding the first ladleful of the simmering prawn stock.
As soon as this has been absorbed by the now gently simmering rice, add another and so on , until most of the stock is gone. At this stage taste the rice to see if it is cooked. As soon as it is nearly ready add the glass of wine and cook this in. Check for seasoning (It may not need salt but will need some freshly ground pepper)
Now carefully fold in the shelled prawns and the knob of butter.
Cover the pot and let these warm up in the rice for a minute or so.
Eat immediately.
A fresh salad of baby spinach is delicious with it.

April 14, 2006 09:11 PM | 0 Comments
  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef