La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Celeriac Risotto and Scallops

I live by the sea and unless I go out for a dive (which I never do by the way), there is no scallop to be found for me to buy anywhere near.
Luck would have it that I found frozen ones in Lidl. I bought two packages as it is only a temporary article. Don't sneer ! Lidl is the only one that delivers on price/quality here in the area and where possible, their products are local (as in Irish). Again, don't sneer ! Frozen scallops are great if you treat them well.
Treat them well by defrosting them slowly. Dry them off properly with kitchen paper, et voilà, ready to use.

I had bought them way before Christmas and was contemplating how I would be serving them. I came across a photo on Pinterest and even though the link was broken it had the ingredients listed for scallops with parmesan risotto. I did my own thing, as you do. Not my first time cooking risotto or scallops.

Ingredients for 2 greedy buggers

  • 1/4 celeriac, peeled and cubed small
  • 250 ml chicken or veggie stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, grated
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 250 ml white wine (dry)
  • 750 ml chicken or veggie stock, keeping it on the hob at simmering point.
  • 2 handfuls of grated parmesan
  • salt and black pepper
  • 12 scallops
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 heaped tbsp butter
  • Start with cooking the celeriac in 250 ml stock till tender.
  • Use a stick blender or food processor to puree the celeriac. Set aside.
  • Sautee the onions in the olive oil till translucent. 
  • Add the garlic and the rice.
  • Stir and coat the rice grains in the oil.
  • Add the white wine and stir till it has evaporated/ soaked up by the rice.
  • Pour in ladle per ladle of hot stock and keep stirring to prevent anything sticking to  burn the bottom of the pan and to release the starch in the rice, which makes it creamy. Each ladle needs to be evaporated before the next one goes in. Do this on a low setting.
  • Keep going till the rice is cooked through but still al dente. I have to admit that I needed a bit extra water as I didn't use Arborio, but another unspecified risotto rice which takes much longer to cook through.
  • Add in the pureed celeriac and heat through.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover with lid and set aside.
  • In a frying pan melt and slightly brown the butter.
  • Season the scallops and sear in the pan, 1 minute on each side.
  • Serve the risotto on plates (warmed), delicately put the scallops on top and don't forget the cooking juices from the pan (coz that's the best bit, I tell ya)
Delicately, for the picture.

Then add some more and tuck in.

Patricia xxx...x


  1. Ohh it sounds & looks delightful. I buy frozen scallops too, I've never tried them from Lidl though so I must pop in at the weekend x

    1. Phew ! Glad I'm not the only one buying frozen scallops. They were really good.
      Lidl only stocks them for the festive season though. I also stocked up on tiger prawns and duck breast from their frozen selection. The rest of the year I can't find those anywhere either.

  2. I love risotto, it's so satisfyingly filling and tasty. Yours looks lovely, although for me I would miss out the scallops.

    I think during this year we will be eating a lot of risottos and pasta dishes as I seem to have had a rice and pasta buying year in 2015 without even noticing myself doing it!!

    1. I'm sure you could add a tasty mushroom instead. If you eat them, that is.
      You've been hamstering non perishables, haven't you ? :D

    2. I hate mushrooms with a vengeance ... it's the texture of them ... YUK!!

      But I'm sure I could find something else from my stash to add ;-)

  3. I am able to buy fresh scallops in a nearby town and when I do so a lemon sole is purchased along with them. Before cooking I sprinkle each with cayenne & black pepper, my preference is to always eat the fish separate from the vegetables.

  4. Anonymous4:39 pm

    I don't sneer at Lidl, have often found locally produced (Lincolnshire) organic foods there.

  5. I love risotto but have thought if making it with celeriac, sounds delicious :)


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