Clam Risotto & Bruno Paillard:
The Premiere Cuvee champagne is an excellent aperitif. It matches divinely with cheese (Brie de Meaux, Camembert, aged salers), poultry and shellfish. In 2000, acclaimed French chef, Joel Robuchon discovers the Bruno Paillard Champagnes.
Here is what tasting Bruno Paillard inspires him: “This champagne, low in sugar content, well balanced, and with its subtle note of hazelnut, is the result of a demanding personality, an excellent connoisseur of terroir and of the best crus. I do believe that he and I have the same notions of hard work and perfection.” Thus, Joel Robuchon has worked for a decade on matching his dishes to the champagnes of Bruno Paillard. The fruitful exchange between the culinary and Champagne worlds, has led to the creation of recipes by Joel Robuchon exclusively for Bruno Paillard Champagne.
Clam Risotto by Joel Robuchon
½ l clams
240g risotto rice
1 garlic clove
1dl olive oil
2 tbs flat leaf parsley, chopped
3.5dl Champagne Première Cuvée
50g liquid whipping cream (unsweetened)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Rinse the clams several times.
Peel and finely chop the garlic clove.
2. In a large saucepan, soften the garlic over a low heat for two minutes in 30g of melted butter and 6cl of olive oil, but do not brown. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir. Next, add the clams, 25cl Brut Champagne, ½ l of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until the clam shells open (about 2 minutes).
3. When the clams are cooked, remove them from their shells. Discard the shells, but keep the cooking liquid. Pass it through a fine mesh sieve, and keep it warm.
4. Peel and finely chop the shallots. In a saucepan, allow them to soften, without browning, over a low heat with 4cl of olive oil. When these are translucent add the rice (unrinsed). Stir to coat the grains of rice with the oil, and cook over a low heat stirring constantly.
When the grains begin to stick together, pour the remaining 10cl of Champagne until almost completely evaporated.
Incorporate the cooking liquid from the clams one ladle at a time; as the liquid gets absorbed, add another ladle. Repeat until the rice is almost completely cooked (around 15–20 minutes). You may not necessarily use all of the clam cooking liquid. The risotto should be very creamy.
5. Check the seasoning, and add salt to taste. Add the clam meat and 30g of cold, cubed, butter. On low heat, add one last ladle of cooking liquid, and 2tbs flat leaf parsley. Mix well.
6. Away from the heat, delicately mix in the liquid whipping cream.
7. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil on top.
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