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Easy Prawn and Broccoli Risotto

The Silver Spoon is well known as the Italian cookbook bible. Though I am generally too lazy of a cook to put in enough effort to cook from it, I do love looking through it for inspiration (and every now and then my husband cooks from it for me!). Needless to say, my interest was piqued when I learned they had come out with The Silver Spoon for children. Flipping through, I saw that the recipes were all super easy, yet still very high quality. It was no coincidence that Charlotte received it from my parents as a Christmas gift this year. 😀

As I’ve written before, I love having my daughter Charlotte (6) help me plan our meals for the week. She ends up more excited about dinner when it is one she has specifically requested and therefore ends up eating more. I had her look through this cookbook to pick dinner for one evening and she chose the risotto from page 60. (She had previously helped make the “Baked Macaroni with Parmesan” and “Orange Cake” which were both big hits.)

The original recipe was just for a basic risotto, so we decided to dress it up with some prawns (shrimp) and broccoli and it was SO yummy! (It also called for saffron, but as we were out I used smoked paprika instead and it definitely worked.) The recipe is a bit much for a six-year-old to do on her own, but Charlotte was able to help grate cheese, do some measuring, and a bit of stirring. She also read all the directions to me which we both enjoyed. What we ended up with was an easy and yummy one pot dinner that we will definitely make again!

Easy Shrimp and Broccoli Risotto

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 40-50g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1.2-1.4 litres of chicken or veg stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 350 g risotto rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • prawns (frozen or fresh)
  • small head of broccoli, chopped

Instructions

1

melt the butter with the oil over medium heat in a large pot

2

sauté chopped onion for ten minutes or until soft (stir regularly)

3

stir in smoked paprika

4

I added my broccoli and frozen prawns at this point. If you are worried about over cooking them, you can cook them separately and add them later in the process.

5

add the rice to the pan and stir until thoroughly coated

6

add a few ladles full of stock and stir continuously until the liquid has been absorbed

7

continue to add stock in this way until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked (this will take 18-20 minutes of continuous stirring, but you should start testing the rice after 10-15 min). When finished, the rice will be soft, but still have a bite to it.

8

lower the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese

9

serve immediately

shrimp

Honey Walnut Shrimp

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Whenever we visit Jason’s family in California, we always go to his dad’s favourite Chinese restaurant. We always order the same handful of delicious dishes for the table to share; my favourite is the “Honey Walnut Shrimp” with its fried shrimp and sweet, creamy sauce. I think the walnuts must be candied, because they are also sweet. It is really more of a dessert than a meal, but my sweet tooth doesn’t mind!

As I looked up inspiration recipes for this, I wasn’t thrilled by the ingredients I saw: cream, mayonnaise, lots of sugar, etc. I decided to attempt a healthier version and it turned out great! My husband said he even preferred it to the original, and I admit that I do as well. Though I think the true test will be to make it for Jason’s dad when we visit in a few months!

(PS: What Americans call shrimp in the US are called prawns in the UK. I am primarily using “shrimp” as that is the word used in the original dish.)

[Pictures below are of a half batch as the kids had eaten earlier during a playdate. Directions to prepare a full batch are below.]

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ingredients:

shrimp:
-400g shrimp (prawns)
-1 egg, whipped
-70g (1/2 cup) of cornstarch
-200g (1.5 cups) chopped walnuts
-a healthy drizzle of vegetable oil (at least 1/4 cup)

sauce:
-85g (1/4 cup) of honey
-4 spoonfuls (see pic below) of apricot jam (a bit less than 1/2 cup)
-120mls (1/2 cup) half fat creme fraiche (or Greek yoghurt)

Serve with rice (I use this for ease) and steamed veg (I used pak choi).

apricotimage1

method:

-start your rice (if you’re not using the quick rice)
-mix together ingredients for the sauce (honey, jam, and creme fraiche) and set aside
-toast the walnut pieces in the oven under a medium/high heat close to the heating element (I recommend standing there and watching them to make sure they don’t burn!)
-coat shrimp in the whipped eggs before coating them with cornstarch

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-now is a good time to steam your veg as the shrimp cook fairly quickly!
-heat oil over a medium/low heat (make sure it is fully heated before adding the shrimp, or they will be soggy!)
-fry the shrimp for about a minute on each side, or until fully pink
-remove shrimp and set on a paper towel or cookie rack (see below) to cool for a minute or two
-mix shrimp and toasted walnuts with the sauce and serve over rice with steamed veg

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(I ended up cutting up my pok choi and mixing it into the rice as it was a bit of a pain to cut. I think I will prepare the rice this way to begin with next time we make this.)