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Recipe: the Seafood Shack's creamy hake risotto with roasted butternut squash

28 January 2021
Recipe: the Seafood Shack's creamy hake risotto with roasted butternut squash

Taken from The Seafood Shack: Food & Tales from Ullapool, by Kirsty Scobie and Fenella Renwick

This is probably one of Kirsty's favourite dishes in the Shack. It goes really well with a big rocket salad with balsamic dressing. We always fry off the vegetables in our basil pesto butter but you can use plain butter if that's what you have.

Serves 4

  • 1 butternut squash, cut into 1cm dice
  • Dash of rapeseed oil
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 50g butter or basil pesto butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 large shallots (or 8 small ones), finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 300g arborio rice
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 fish stock cube
  • 500g hake, filleted, skinned and chopped into 4cm chunks
  • 200g frozen petits pois
  • 8 asparagus, cut into 4cm lengths
  • Small handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Salt and black pepper

Preheat your oven to 220°C. Put the butternut squash on a baking tray, drizzle with a dash of oil, and sprinkle over the cumin, smoked paprika and some salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until soft, turning every now and then. Turn the heat down a bit if it starts to burn.

Put your frying pan on a medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy on both sides, remove from the pan and leave to drain on kitchen paper, then roughly chop when it is cold. Add the butter and a little more oil to the bacon fat left in the pan, and when it's melted add the garlic, shallots, chilli and leek and sweat for around 10 minutes.

Now add your arborio rice and fry off for another five minutes. Add the thyme sprig and pour in the white wine and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed by the rice.

Dissolve the stock cubes in a litre of boiling water and add 200ml to the risotto. Once it is absorbed, add another 200ml, and repeat until the risotto is creamy but the rice still has a little bit of bite. This will take about 20 minutes. You may not need to use all your stock, or you may want to add more water.

Stir in the hake, peas and asparagus and add the roasted butternut squash. Simmer on a low heat for around 10 minutes, adding more water if it looks too thick. Finish off with the finely chopped parsley and lemon juice and zest, and season to taste, then scatter each serving with the chopped bacon and some shavings of Parmesan.

Photography by Clair Irwin

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