Its been only 2 years since we started this blog. Although we have been cooking up storms in our own kitchens in Tampa and Toronto, for the first time ever, we are sharing a meal that we collaborated!
For those of you who don't know the entire story, Michelle and I met on a Caribbean cruise 6 years ago but have never cooked a single meal together! You can only imagine how excited we were a week ago when she finally made it to the city! I mean what can I say? Mackers with her savvy tastebuds, and my (Ames) flair for creativity, combined with our cooking tenure, the meal of the summer was going to be our second brainchild... The first being this blog of course.
It is slightly funny because the day before the reunion dinner we went to the Distillery's Mill Street Pub for lunch and ate a spectacular spread that left us so full we didn't want to think about noshing for a week. (Ok that's a white lie...WE are FOODIES! I was already thinking about dinner at Trevor's and Michelle was dreaming about Poutine).
Planning our Saturday meal on a full stomach didn't feel like a challenge after lunch, until we hit the infamous Cheese Boutique. Overwhelmed with pasta, cheese, meat and a plethora of specialty sauces, vinegars, mustards, jellies and anything you need to cook an A+ meal we couldn't commit. Oddly enough Michelle pointed out the seafood stock she uses back in Florida, something I haven't seen here and then suggested we make pasta and meatballs. I probably squinted my nose and said we needed a lighter summery meal, therefore after our cheese tasting we left with our appetizers only.
I'm not sure how Michelle determined she was going to make her special risotto with shrimp, but we finally agreed on the following menu:
Summertime Shrimp Risotto
Grilled Sweet Corn
Fresh Market Salad with Honey Chevre
XO Cafe Patron Brownie Trifle
I laugh out loud now, but we certainly had our shopping trip cut out for us. (To be continued...)
|Sopressata Friulana, Prosciutto Di Parma Dutch Cheese, Mahon|
|The creamy risotto is almost complete|
|Risotto, just getting started|
|Summertime Risotto with Shrimp|
|Market Fresh Greens|
|Fresh Market Green Salad with Honey Chèvre|
|XO Cafe Patron Brownie Trifle|
|Mackers patiently waits for Dessert|
Summer Shrimp Risotto
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, simply sauteed with a dash of salt and pepper
9 cups seafood stock
1/2 cup butter divided
1 yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice
2/3 cups white wine (we prefer Riesling)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings for garnish
ground pepper to taste
fresh basil and pine nuts for garnish
Sweet corn, halved and grilled to perfection
Heat stock in a saucepan until simmering. In a large sauce pan saute 4 tablespoons of butter with onion until soft. Add rice and stir until somewhat incorporated. Add wine and stir until absorbed. Add 1 cup of simmering stock and stir until absorbed. Continue adding stock a cup at a time, stirring constantly until each cup is absorbed. This will take about 30 minutes. The key is to do it slowly to allow the rice to expand and get very rich and creamy. Stir in Parmesan cheese, remaining butter, heavy cream and pepper until absorbed and combined. Stir in shrimp and dish out to individual bowls. Garnish each bowl with a corn half, Parmesan shavings, fresh basil and pine nuts. Serve while still hot.
Fresh Market Green Salad with Honey Chèvre
Fresh Mixed Greens
Honey Chèvre (Goat Cheese)
Toss the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and cracked pepper.
XO Cafe Patron Brownie Trifle
1 pan of your favourite Brownies (already baked)
1 small container of chocolate ice-cream
1 container of Cool Whip
Chocolate for shavings
XO Cafe Patron Tequila
Use a pretty large glass dish so you can see the layers of yum through the sides. You will need a large salad bowl size. Layer the ingredients, starting with brownies. Pour desired amount of patron on brownies (approximately 2 shots) alternating each of the ingredients (layer at least twice).
Shave chocolate on top and garnish with crumbled brownies or chocolate covered marshmallows. Cover and chill for 20 min before serving.