Whether in a relationship or single, I always find one of the nicest ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day is to celebrate at home over a lovely meal. Even though I’m currently single, I’m really looking forward to cooking this Crab Chili Risotto with a friend on Saturday. Risotto is always a favourite dish of mine to make, and this version with crab makes it perfect for a special evening. It’s also a great meal to cook with someone else, as the process of gently stirring the rice in the pan is much more enjoyable when you can chat to someone else and sip some wine together.
I’ve adapted this recipe from one in Nigella Lawson’s Nigellissima; one of the alterations I’ve made is I’ve included samphire (a sea vegetable similar to asparagus) which I love and feel goes especially well with crab, but of course you could leave this out if you wish.
Crab Chili Risotto (Serves 2)
1 litre light chicken stock (made up to half strength)
1/4 teaspoon saffron strands
2 x 15ml olive oil
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 glove garlic crushed
200g risotto rice
75ml dry white wine
100g brown crabmeat
100g white crabmeat
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus 1/2 lemon to serve
salt and pepper to taste
good handful of samphire
2 handfuls of rocket (plus a little extra for garnish)
1/ Make up the stock, adding the strands of saffron, and put in a saucepan over a low heat to keep hot.
2/ Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan with a lid, and when warm add the spring onion, chili and garlic. Cook over a low heat for a minute or so (take care not to let the garlic burn).
3/ Turn the heat up and add the rice, stirring it into the chili and onions.
4/ Add the white wine and let this bubble up and be absorbed into the rice. Now add a ladleful of the hot, tinted stock and cook, stirring all the while, until it too is absorbed.
5/ Turn the heat down and add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring (whilst sipping on wine and chatting) until each ladleful at a time is absorbed by the rice. Don’t rush this part – it will probably take about 20 minutes.
6/ Take the pan off the heat, add the crabmeat and the lemon zest and juice and stir, then taste for seasoning. Now, stir in the samphire and rocket leaves, put the lid on and, with the pan still off the heat, let it stand for a few minutes until the leaves have wilted.
7/ Divide the risotto into 2 bowls, garnish with a few more rocket leaves and a quarter of lemon each (squeeze this over just before eating), pour yourselves some wine (I like something pink and sparkly with this) and enjoy!
I’ll be sharing a recipe for my ideal Valentine dessert in couple of days too, so do check back for that! I’m curious to know – what are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year? Are you a fan of going out, or do you too prefer to stay in and keep it casual? Whatever the case, I hope you all have a lovely day!