mardi, mars 30, 2010

Prawn and Clam Pilaf

Prawn and Venus Clam Pilaf

I am the only one in the family who is not ticklish. So you know that I am not afraid of my husband. But I found myself waking up in the middle of the night laughing away like a mad woman. Because someone tickled me in my dream. Don't you find that ironic?

After spending the whole of yesterday playing (unpaid) travel agent, I think the beginning of July will be divided between Liguria and Ravenna so as to please the MIL and the kids with their various demands e.g. pool, beach, amusement parks, museums, hiking, breakfast in hotels...I have decided that this year will be our year to visit as much of Italy as we can, so I am sticking to the plan. With the Teenager entering his last year at the school in September (no Grade 10 in the ISM), our days in Modena (maybe Italy too) should be numbered.

I found myself with some leftover prawn stock (from my prawn noodle soup) and having bought a bag of venus clams when I was grocery shopping this morning, decided to make a Prawn and Clam Pilaf. This is a fusion rice dish and if I may say so myself, quite a success. The rice, seafood and spinach were cooked just right, and the textures in harmony with one another.

In the pan
Prawn and Clam Pilaf (serves 2) :

1 cup Basmati rice (rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes)
500g Venus Clams (soaked for 30 minutes in salted water and rinsed)
500g Prawns (heads and shells used to make a prawn broth)
2 handfuls of fresh Spinach (cleaned)
1 Lemon wedge
Chives for garnishing
Olive oil
2 Onions (sliced)
3 Garlic cloves (diced)
1 small slice fresh Ginger (diced)
2-3 Tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 - 1 Tsp Mustard seeds
1 Thai chilli (sliced)
1 Bay leaf (torn into pieces)
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley (chopped)
Seafood broth
Ground Black Pepper

This is a very easy dish but the ingredients have to be prepared in advance and the cooking co-ordinated. Prepare the prawn broth by caramelising the prawn heads and shells and then cooking them with a few spices (e.g. star anise, cinnamon, cloves...) and hot water, simmering for about an hour. Cook the prawns briefly in the broth and set them aside. Wash and soak the clams and rice (in separate containers).

Raw clams

Heat up some oil in a pan and fry half an onion (sliced) to obtain fried onions for garnishing. Set aside.

Partially-cooked clams

Heat up some olive oil now and fry the other half of one onion and 1 garlic clove. Add the clams, give them a stir and cover the pan. Just let them open up a little and stop the cooking. You want to be able to see what's inside their shells but you do not want them to open up totally. Remove the clams and keep them in another bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice over them. Filter the cooking juices through a sieve and pour them into the prawn broth.

Heat up a generous amount of olive oil in the pan and fry the onion, ginger and garlic. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, followed by the chilli, bay leaf and parsley.

Now add the drained rice and coat the grains well with the fragrant olive oil and spices.

Add the cooked prawns and give everything a quick stir. Season with black pepper. Pour in one cup of the seafood broth and mix well with the rice. Place the clams then the spinach on top of the rice and add another cup of the broth. Cover the pot and when it starts to steam, lower the heat and let the dish simmer for about 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the rice cook in its own steam for another 10 minutes. The rice should not be overcooked.

Garnish with the fried onions and chives before serving. I've never found the need to add salt to this dish because the clams and prawns provide salt naturally to the dish. But if it's not salty enough, add salt to taste.

That was my lunch before I set out to the Palafitta to catch the Middle Years' end-of-unit performance (with costume parade, play, gamelan music and wayang kulit performance). I have seen the Teenager writing scripts and sewing clothes in preparation for this day so I am looking forward to checking out the result.

1 commentaire:

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover a dit…

Never cook this at home before, must try one day.