Rose Prince writes in the New English Kitchen
“Making stock in the home creates an atmosphere. You walk in the door to an aroma that tells you, good food is in this place . The atmosphere never really leaves. When the pot is on the go the welcome scent buckles knees – but even when it has been stored away in plastic bottles and containers – there hangs a message in the air; we love food enough to make stock”
I love stock any leftover roasts are converted into stock bones whipped off peoples plate and thrown in a pan with plenty of water , wrinking vegetables tough stalks or outer leaves It just makes me feel wholesome making it and using it,
However I often forget to label freezer contents and last week as I was opening a box of what I though was chicken stock to make a St Georges Mushroom and Wild Garlic Risotto, I encountered something distinctly fishy , it took me a while to remember that I had made a crab stock ( back in September when I had two whole crabs). Since we had bought the crab cooked after eating I simmered the shells covered in water and a cup of white wine , strained it to make 1.5 pints of fish-fragrant stock which went into the freezer alongside a extra pot of crabmeat greedily bought in case the crabs proved to meagre. Finding the stock made me think of risotto ( but not that risotto , poor Delia , there do seem to be some vocal haters)
This week I got a delivery from the lovely Natoora , their Spring Taster which alongside new potatoes, asparagus ,tomatoes & fresh herbs contained fresh peas. Although I am growing peas I am not overly optimistic for their progress, peas are pigeon magnets and I have a whole family nesting in the garden . So some fresh peas are very exciting, even if as ever with peas several hanfuls of pods yields only few tablespoons of peas . I admit it would have been better if I hadn’t eaten quite a few pods raw when shelling them still I had enough for a 2 person risotto.
So I opted for really simple pea and crab risotto, if anything can make me feel more contentedly domesticated that shelling peas, using my homemade stock and lovingly stirring risotto for 30 minutes I don’t know what it is
I had announced I would be gutted if it didn’t taste good because it looked and smelt wonderful . However I needed have worried rich and velvety texture, just enough give in the rice and intermittent sweet pop of pea and salty crab undercurrent.
I’ve got more time now to visit my local markets, but if you want Spring delivered to your door while still supporting small producers Natoora is worth a go . Natoora do provide the provenance of all the ingredients they sell. For orders of over £60 made before May 30th 2010 Natoora are offering free Spring Samples or you ca try winning a risotto hamper designed by from Theo Randall including all the risotto ingredients , Italian Cheese and Parma Ham ) Visit Natoora
Crab and Fresh Pea Risotto
1 pint of concentrated stock mixed with half a pint of water
100ml of white wine
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp of butter
Pinch of salt
50g of crab meat (brown and white meat)
Handful of shelled fresh peas
- Fry the onion in the butter to soften , but do not allow to colour.
- Add the risotto rice , stir to coat well in the butter for about a minute.
- Warm the stock through til warm but not boiling, add the brown meat to the stock
- Add 1/4 of stock to the rice until absorbed, add the rest of the stock a ladle-full at a time stirring continuously.
- When the rice still has a touch of bite and with the final ladle of stock add the peas( which will need a few minutes cooking) and stir in the crab white meat.
- Taste and season if necessary with salt and pepper . For me it did need a touch of salt
- Serve with a garnish of pea shoots