Home > Creative Cooking Crew Challenge > Cooking with Color (just one): Crabmeat + Fennel Risotto with Stuffed Squid and Fennel Puree

Color has always been an important ingredient in the FOODalogue kitchen … lots of red, green, orange and purple on the plate because, you know, eating healthy is a colorful thing.

But, this month’s challenge for the Creative Cooking Crew was to “create a complete and cohesive dish with only one color”. I chose white because I wanted the multiple challenge of preparation, presentation, photography (<it wasn’t easy) and also to prove that all white food is not bad for you. Think fish, mushrooms, cannellini beans, white asparagus, cauliflower, and wine!

I love these challenges! They’re fun to do and even more fun to see what everyone else does. And, in the life of a food blogger, we get to eat our work — this one was a winner.

Crab Meat + Fennel Risotto with Stuffed Squid and Fennel Puree

The dish has 3 components: stuffed calamari, creamy lump crab meat risotto, and fennel puree.

I was surprised at how many white ingredients were just a natural addition to complement the dish: arborio rice, lump crab meat, squid, fennel bulb, onions, garlic, white wine, white mushrooms, panko, parmesan reggiano, salt, white pepper, white balsamic syrup, cream. Other Ingredients: olive oil, fennel fronds.

The baby squid were poached in white wine with minced onions, fennel, white mushrooms and garlic that had been sauteed in olive oil. The stuffing is a mixture of  lump crab meat, panko, the sauteed onions/fennel/mushrooms/garlic mixture, a little parmesan and a little cream to hold it together. It was quickly pan-seared before serving.

To those of you who adhere to the ‘no cheese with fish’  school of thought, be you Scott Conant or the guy down the street, I respectfully disagree and say … your loss.

Risotto: arborio rice was added to the minced onions, fennel, garlic and mushrooms; then cooked slowly with the liquid from lump crab meat container, white wine poaching liquid from calamari, a little fennel puree and broth. A pat of butter, lump crab meat and freshly grated parmesan were added a little before serving.

Fennel Puree: raw fennel pulsed with white balsamic syrup, onion, garlic and olive oil. This was added to the risotto liquid while cooking and drizzled over top when plated.

I drank a Verdejo from Spain (my current favorite white wine) with this meal.

The colorful round-up will be hosted on Laz Cooks on June 28.

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