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Cooking Together – Italian

We hope you enjoyed your evening with us, below are the recipes – if you have any questions for chef please do ask and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Starter: Smoked Mozzarella Arancini with Mariana Sauce

Main: Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Potato Gnocchi with Butternut Squash Sauce

Desert: Italian Lemon Posset

Arancini

 These are really versatile, so adopt the method and then experiment with different fillings, stuffing the centre of the  balls.  Chefs tip – to make really consistently sized arancini – weigh your balls to ensure all equal.

Smoked Mozzarella Arancini with Marinara sauce

Ingredients – Makes 15 Large Arancini:

  • 1cup of arborio rice
  • 3.5 cups of chicken stock
  • 4tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 a cup of white wine
  • 40g of grated parmesan
  • seasoning
  •  
  • 1/4 cup of double cream
  • 2tsp of lemon zest
  • 1tbsp of lemon juice
  • 100g of mozzarella torn into pieces
  • 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 a cup of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for frying

Method:

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat, then keep warm over low.

Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 4–5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned, about 1 more minute.

Stir in rice; season with 1½ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until some of the grains turn translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring often, until pan is almost dry, about 2 minutes.

Ladle in 1 cup warm stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Ladle in another 1 cup stock and continue to cook, stirring yet again, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 5–7 minutes.

Add remaining 1½ cups stock and cook, stirring often, until rice is cooked through and liquid is mostly absorbed, 9–11 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Stir in Parmesan, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tsp. pepper, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Season risotto with salt.

Spread risotto in an even layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 4 (cover risotto with plastic wrap after 1 hour so it doesn’t develop a skin).

Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Scoop about ¼ cup risotto into your hands and form into a patty about 2½” in diameter .

Place a pieces mozzarella in the centre of patty. Carefully pinch and shape risotto so it completely encases the cheese, then roll into a 2″ ball.

Your hands might get messy, and the balls may be slightly misshapen (they’ll firm up later). Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining risotto and mozzarella.

Marinara Sauce

Quick and simple sauce recipe which is full of flavour. What’s not to like and tastes so much better than store bought versions.

Ingredients:

    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
    • 1 sprig of basil, whole
    • 1 tbsp of parsley, chopped
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a small sauce pan and add onion and garlic, sauté for a couple of minutes until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, balsamic and sprig of basil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Season well and add the lemon zest and parsley at the end.
  4. Blitz with a hand hald bender or mixer until it’s a smooth sauce.
  1.  

Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Potato Gnocchi with Butternut Squash & Coconut Sauce

Pan-Fried Sea Bass Fillets – Serves 2:

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
 

Method:

  1. Lightly coat the base of a non-stick frying pan with olive oil then place the pan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot, season the fillets with salt and place in the pan skin-side down. Using a fish slice, press down on the fillets to prevent curling and to ensure even cooking of the skin.
  3. Cook for 3–4 minutes until the skin is nicely golden and crisp then carefully turn the fillets over to cook for 1 minute. The fish is cooked when the flesh becomes opaque.
  4. If the fish is not cooked after 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat and leave the fillets to finish cooking in the residual heat before serving.
 

Tips:

  1. To ensure crispy skin, dry the fillets with kitchen roll before seasoning them with salt.
  2. Don’t put too much oil into the frying pan and make sure it has a chance to get hot before adding the fillets.
Butternut Squash & Coconut Sauce – Serves 2:
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 400ml double cream
  • Handful of chopped chives
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 sage leaves
  • Seasoning

Method:

  1. Heat up a medium size sauce pan with oil. Sweat of the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the squash and seasoning, sauté until golden brown.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and reduce by half to cook of the alcohol and prevent bitterness.
  4. Add the double cream and cook on low heat until the squash is soft and blend the sauce until smooth.
  5. Finish with chopped sage.

Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • 450g potatoes (clean but not skinned / not new potatoes)
  • 1 cup flour (130 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium egg

Method:

  1. Boil potatoes until tender, with the skin on, remove from the pot and let cool completely. Remove the skin. Then pass through a potato ricer, or grate.
  2. Mix together the flour and salt and place on a flat surface, make a well in the middle and add the potatoes and egg, mix together with your fingers to form a soft dough, it should not stick to your fingers. On a lightly floured surface, cut small amounts of dough to form ropes and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces, then slide each piece on a fork and squeeze a little (but not too hard). Sprinkle with a little bit of flour and toss, so they don’t stick together.
  3. Let the gnocchi rest for 20 minutes before cooking.
  4. Boil in a salted water until floating, serve immediately.

Italian Lemon Posset

This is an Italian classic, and is great for a dinner party – as it can be made in the morning.

You could crush up biscuits of your choice and put in the bottom of the glass.  A classic Italian version would be an amaretti and serve a glass of amaretto on the side!

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • ·      300ml of double cream
  • ·      60g caster sugar
  • ·      1 juicy lemon
 
 
 
 
 
 

Method:

  1. Squeeze the lemon
  2.  Bring the cream and sugar to the boil (careful it should just boil but not boil over). Once you see it boil – stay there and boil for exactly 3 minutes.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and whisk in the lemon juice
  4. Strain this into a jug and leave to cool for 20minutes.
  5. If you wish to put a crumbled biscuit in the bottom of the receptacle – this is the time to do it. If not gently pour the cream into the glasses.
  6. Refrigerate for 6 hours minimum.
  7. Serve with fruit and edible flowers.

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