Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thai Fresh Crab & Corn Risotto

If you never change your mind, why have one? – Edward de Bono

As we say in Nova Scotia, "some good"!

Sometimes it’s good to surprise yourself. Especially when good means “tasty.” Restaurant tasty. That’s how I would describe this.

Not all surprises work out this well. And it was completely without any real forethought at the grocery store. The recipe came about because I changed my mind.

Crab “clusters” (legs and body) are on sale this week for 1/3 their normal price at the Superstore. Local corn is also making an appearance (3/$1). With such finds I usually am inspired to make Chinese crab and corn soup. So I bought some with that in mind.

But, as I said, by the time dinner rolled around I changed my mind. What I wanted to make had lost all its appeal for some reason. Now there’s nothing wrong with crab and corn chowder, but it’s my stomach and I (too often) listen to what it tells me.

Regardless of my stomach's inner voice, I was still stuck with 2 ingredients, crab and corn. Thank goodness for Google’s search function. A quick look gave me many hits – mostly for crab and corn soup! An alternate that stood out was for Italian corn risotto. It sounded pretty interesting. There was no reason I couldn’t add in crab. 

But Italian and crab really don’t spring to mind as a common combo. Perhaps time for an exercise in fusion cuisine?

Just add enough liquid every time so
the contents is covered slightly.
So I trekked across the Middle East, over India and into southeast Asia for my flavours: coconut, chilli and ginger. To really get coconut in this I double-dosed it. It’s in both the oil and the braising liquid for the rice. Don't be fooled – coconut oil imparts a coconut taste. Sometimes this is advantageous, sometimes not. This time it helped make everything quite nicely coco-nutty.

If you want to make something unexpected for company I say look no further. This is a drop-dead delicious meal and pretty on the plate to boot. Perhaps a little green salad on the side to round things out...

Thai Fresh Crab & Corn Risotto*
Prep: 20 min  |  Cook: 20 min  |  Serves 4
250 g fresh King crab meat, shelled
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp crated fresh ginger
1 hot red chilli, finely diced (or 2 tsp dried chilli flakes)
1 cup Calrose rice
1 can coconut milk, plus enough chicken stock to make 1L
2 ears corn, kernels removed
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Clean the pre-cooked crab, if purchasing in clusters, and discard the shells. You should have at least 250 g meat.

Combine the coconut milk and stock in a pot and bring to a simmer. Keep warm.

Heat the coconut oil in a wide sauté pan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Sauté until the  onion begins to look transparent. Then add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes. Finally add the corn kernels. Reduce heat to medium high.

Begin to add the hot liquid to the rice/corn mixture, using just enough to cover. Stir while it cooks. Do NOT go answer the phone or the rice may stick and burn.

Add more milk and stock as the liquid is absorbed, stirring. Continue to cook until the rice is “al dente” (still has a slight resistance when bitten). This may take a little less than the 1L or a little more. If you need more liquid, use hot water. 

This is the amount of liquid that should be left. Some, but not much. You should
be able to drag the spatula across the bottom of the pan and it remains dry.

The risotto is dry enough when almost all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. You need to leave some “creaminess” with the rice so it isn’t completely dry.

Taste for salt and pepper and adjust. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the crab and cilantro. Serve immediately.

* You can use canned crab and frozen or canned for kernels, but why would you if fresh is available and affordable?


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1 comment:

  1. oh yum! thanks for another great recipe! i have your bread rising right now!