Prawn & Bugtail Risotto

The last couple of years, I have been buying the annual calendar & wine pack from Wine Selectors that contains a calendar with a recipe and a matching wine for each month. Here is the January 2020 recipe from the Wine Selectors Calendar.
The wine is Chrismont La Zone Pino Grigio 2018 in Victoria’s King Valley.
Prep time 35 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Serves 4


40g butter
40 ml EVO
1 brown onion, finely sliced
2 carrots, finely diced
100g celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
2 morten bay bugs, in shell
200g green prawns in shell
1 cup dry white wine
1 liter fish stock
200g tomato paste
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
500g butter
100g double thick cream

4 king prawns, butterflied
2 Morten Bay Bug Tails, halved
80ml EVO
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbs chopped basil leaves
2 Tbs chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
1 liter fish or vegetable stock
1 small brown onion, finely diced
320g arborio rice
200ml white wine
12 shrimp, peeled
70g butter
100g parmesan, finely grated

Bisque Method:

Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook 7 minutes until soft. Add garlic, bug tail pieces and prawns, stir to combine. Add white wine and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.

Add stock, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Stir. Cook over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally or until liquid has reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove lobster and prawns. Blend in batches until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and add butter and cream. Season and keep warm until the risotto is ready.

Place the king prawns in a bowl with the bug tails, 20ml EVO, garlic and herbs. Toss to coat and set in the fridge until needed.

For the risotto: put the stock in a saucepan over low heat.

Heat 20 ml EVO in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes until soft. Add rice and stir to coat the grains. Add wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until absorbed. Add stock a ladleful at a time. allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next.Continue stir constantly for about 20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked to a firm bite.

Add shrimp and remaining seafood to the pan and gently incorporate in the rice. Remove from the heat, Add the butter and parmesan and gently stir through.

In a second pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Add marinated king prawns and bug tails and cook until almost done. Remove from the heat.

To serve: spoon risotto into plates and ladle over bisque. Top each with a marinated king prawn and half bug tail and garnish with fresh parsley.

Posted in Ramblings, Recipes, Rice, Seafood | Leave a comment

Crispy Skin Fish with Laksa Butter

I’ve been going through a heap of old magazines over the holidays and started making and typing up some of the recipes that are my favourites and are also quick and easy for a fast weeknight feed. This one is from Donna Hay Magazine, #88, Aug/Sep 2016.

I usually serve this with Laksa butter rice, but tonight I served it with new potatoes freshly dug from the garden.

Serves 4


200g unsalted butter, softened
4 Tbs laksa paste
1 Tbs EVO
4 x 200g firm white fish fillets, skin on
3 cups cooked rice
To Serve:
Thai basil leaves to serve
4 store-bought roti


Mix together the laksa paste and butter until smooth, set aside.

Cook the fish, skin side down, for 10 minutes or until the skin is golden and crispy.
Turn over and cook for a further 2 minutes until just cooked.

Stir half the laksa butter through the rice and divide between 4 bowls. Top with the fish and spoon over the remaining laksa butter.

Serve with Thai basil & roti and asian greens.


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Plum and Strawberry Jam

I have started getting a vege box each Friday from Backyard Bounty and recently had a heap of apples, plums and strawberries and a bucket of plums from my parents. I turned it all into Apple and Sage jelly, Chinese Plum sauce, Strawberry BBQ sauce and Plum and Strawberry jam.

This plum and strawberry jam was form a Strawberry Plumcot (or Pluot) Jam recipe I found in the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook.


1.64 kg plums, halved and pitted
1.16 kg strawberries, hulled, larger ones halved
1.16 kg sugar
170 g – 285 g fresh lemon juice
several drops rose water (optional)


Place the fruit and sugar in alternating layers in a large glass or hard plastic storage container

Drizzle over 65 g of lemon juice. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 – 48 hours, until the fruit has released its juices.

When ready, stir well to help dissolve the sugar and add 65 g lemon juice.

Taste the liquid of the mixture and slowly add more lemon juice until you just taste the lemon juice.

Transfer to a large pot and bring to a boil over a high heat, stirring frequently for four minutes.

Remove from the heat and skim. Return to the heat and boil until thickened, approx 20-30 mins. Reduce heat if it starts to splutter violently or stick. Stir regularly as it will burn easily.

Stir constantly from now on and bring to 104.5°C.

Take off the heat, skim any remaining foam and if desired, sprinkle over rose water.

Pour into sterilised jars.

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Twice Cooked Goats Cheese Souffle


This is a favourite in our house. DB suggested he’d like a blue cheese sauce next time.

I think that would work nicely as well.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is you can freeze the souffle’s and have a little stock handy when you need to impress or just can’t be bothered.




60g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
1 cup warm milk
60g fresh goats curd cheese
20g parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites

Soufflé sauce:
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup pouring cream
40g fresh goats curd cheese
½ tablespoon parmesan cheese, finely grated

Refrigerate four 180ml capacity soufflé moulds.

Boil a large saucepan of water.

Melt butter in a small saucepan, remove from heat and lightly brush chilled moulds with  butter, refrigerate moulds again until ready to fill.

Return the remaining butter in pan to low heat, stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the warm milk, stirring continuously until mixture boils and thickens.

Remove from heat; add cheeses, parley, and chives, season to taste with sea salt a freshly ground black pepper, then stir until well combined.

Whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, then transfer mixture to a deep bowl. Using a electric mixer, whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form, gently fold 1/3 the egg whites into the warm cheese mixture to loosen, then fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

Divide soufflé mixture among moulds, then place in a roasting pan, pour in enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up sides of moulds and bake at 180°C for 16 mins or until risen and firm.

Remove soufflés from water bath and cool for 5 minutes: Soufflés will deflate. Using a small knife, carefully ease soufflés out of moulds and place each in a 20cm gratin dish.

Soufflés can be frozen for later use at this stage.

Soufflé sauce:
Heat olive oil in a saucepan, a
dd garlic and cook over low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, but no colour. Add cream and cheeses and bring to the boil.

Remove from heat, season to taste.

To Cook:

Spoon 1-2 teaspoon of water around each soufflétwicecookedgoatcheesesouffle and bake at 180°C for 8-10 minutes or until the outside of the soufflé starts to colour.

Pour a quarter of the sauce over each soufflé and bake for another 2-3 minutes or until the soufflé starts to puff out and sauce starts to colour around the edges of the gratin dish.

Remove the souffles Top soufflés from the oven and top with a dressed micro salad if desired.

Serve immediately.

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Gluten Free Breakfast Granola

I started making this for my SIL, who tries to go gluten and dairy free where she can. Although the quinoa flakes smell awful while the granola is cooking, it tastes great. If you don’t care about gluten free you can substitute rolled oats and if you don’t like the coconut oil, you can use butter or a neutral veg oil or nut oil.

300g quinoa flakes
120g coconut
120g flaked almonds
120g pepitas
150g coconut oil
150g maple syrup
400g mixed dried fruit – I used pineapple, paw paw, dates, sultanas, apricots & blueberries

Add the quinoa flakes, coconut, almonds & pepitas together.granolacooking

in a saucepan, gently heat the coconut oil and maple syrup until melted and combined. Mix into the dry ingredients

Spread the mix onto trays lined with baking paper and bake at 150°C, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes or so, until the mixture is toasted to your liking.

Serve with your favourite fruit and yoghurt for breakfast.granola

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