Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong, Part 1
The Battenburg extended family headed off to Center Parcs in Wiltshire for the school holidays – half way between the London and Cardiff branches of the clan. We were pleased to find that we had two very well equipped kitchens between us: vital for me to participate in the Silver Screen Suppers Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong (http://www.silverscreensuppers.com). Those of you who like to study the photographs will spot that I actually did my first dish in advance in my own kitchen: deviled shrimp and rice, from Vincent Price’s Come Into The Kitchen cookbook from 1969. I have also noted that I can no longer deny that, on occasion, I cook in a slight situation of chaos. I decided to do this one early because a) I had company to feed and b) we thought the children would want burgers and such like for their Halloween dinner. Actually I think some of them would have liked the dish. It is a baked risotto with lots of prawns, which would have gone down well with two of the three children. I have managed to misplace the copy of the recipe that I carefully annotated as I went along, but I think I can remember most of what I did. Here, with 21st century instructions:
2 x 250g packs of prawns (I used one of big prawns and one of small)
15 g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g basmati rice
400g tin of tomatoes
300g chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 teaspoon chilli powder
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the onion and garlic, till soft and beginning to brown.
Mix the onion and garlic and all the other ingredients in a 1 litre casserole dish.
Cover with a lid or foil and baked for an hour, or until the rice is dry and fluffy and the liquid absorbed.
Serves 6, with a big green salad. Very good indeed – reminded me, in a good way, of the 1970s tuna risotto Grandma Battenburg used to serve on Wednesdays. Not with a salad back in those days of course.