A little while ago, I was lucky enough to be given some Heilala Vanilla products to try.
Heilala – pronounced hey-la-la – is 100% pure vanilla and direct from the plantations. This is the good stuff people!
In all honesty, I have had this little sample for a wee while. When you have something special in your hot little hands, you want to make something special with it. I didn’t want to do the normal cupcakes or custard, or something you would traditionally use vanilla for. I wanted to do something savoury.
Actually, I originally had my eye on a beef dish (I told you it had been a while), but with the recent diet changes, I thought I would try my hand at a seafood that’s renowned for its sweetness, and give it the Heilala touch
Although not massively prominent, you do get the aftertaste of the vanilla and it definitely gives a depth to the dish that you could get out of nothing else.
Its actually a pretty easy risotto too, give it a shot!
Squid Ink Risotto with Vanilla Salted Scallops (Serves 2 generously)
1 tsp Heilala Vanilla Paste
1/4 cup sea salt
1 white onion, diced
1 cup arborio rice
7ml squid ink (1 sachet)
3 cups vegetable stock
To make vanilla salt, combine vanilla paste and salt and mix thoroughly, placing in a jar for further use. Vanilla salt will keep for weeks in the cupboard.
Heat oil in a saucepan on med-high heat and once hot, add diced onion, frying until translucent.
In a separate pan, heat vegetable stock until boiled and then reduce heat to keep warm.
Add rice and squid ink, stirring until rice it coated in the oil and ink. Cook for around 1 minute.
Add one ladle full of stock to the rice and keep stirring until all rice is absorbed. Repeat, one ladle at a time until the rice is al dente. You may not need all of the stock.
When the rice is almost done, heat another pan on high heat with a little olive oil, and fry each scallop until just opaque in the centre.
To serve, place the risotto in a bowl, top with the scallops and sprinkle with vanilla salt.