Tales of our resettling and a warming comfort dish: Mushroom Risotto with Chilli Truffle Scallops in a Parmesan bowl

Porcini risotto in parmesan bowls with truffle chilli scallops

Porcini risotto in parmesan bowls with truffle chilli scallops

As I walked to work this week, I was struck by a young tree, shimmering with frost in the pink light of the morning.  One of many, on a nature-filled route that contrasts from my costly, cramped and often crawling tube journeys to work in the past.

A great career opportunity and our expanded family have encouraged us to move to the beautiful city of Cambridge. We are happy, we are finding our feet and we are struck by the warmth and friendliness of people we meet.

And yet. And yet. London holds my heart in a strong and forceful way. I don’t want that work-life shuttle there again. Yet the immensity, complexity, multiethnicity and anonymity that London affords, yields variety, novelty and choice that you cannot appreciate till it is not on your doorstep.

I do not want, however, want to convey any misgivings about our move. What good is having 5 top sushi restaurants on speed dial, when the last time you went to most of them was pre children? Here we have shopped, eaten out and socialised more than ever in our recent past. Perhaps with a bit of a Pioneer spirit!

So here is what we have been up to.

Christmas was held amidst boxes. Our feast was aided by a wonderful Forman and Field Hamper, courtesy of Knorr, which contained the same lovely ingredients as in the giveaway.


My girl turned three.


My boy soon turns one.

And work is great. Really enjoyable, and a great challenge.

It is cold and snowy as it is everywhere. So this quick dinner party-esque supper is a perfect comfort dish. Risotto with mushrooms, topped with pan fried scallops and presented in a parmesan bowl. A quick warming dish that tastes as good as  it looks!

You can scale the proportions down to present it as a starter in a dinner party. These parmesan bowls filled with mushroom risotto are a carbohydrate and cheese filled nirvana, overload being tempered by the sweet pan fried scallops, to which I added a little chilli and truffle oil.

Ingredients (serves 2):

150g fresh button mushrooms and 30g dried porcini

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

250g (12 oz) risotto rice

1 litres (3 pints) vegetable or chicken stock

30g (2 oz) Parmesan, freshly grated for the risotto and 120g Parmesan for the bowls

8-12 queen scallops

Half a teaspoon Piment d’Esplettes (or crushed chilli)

Truffle oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 220DegC

On a sheet of greaseproof paper, draw 2 circles around a side plate. In the meantime, spritz 2 bowls with oil on the outside (these will be your moulds).

Turn the sheet over and oil it. Fill each circle with grated cheese.

Bake in the oven for 10 mins or until the cheese has melted.

Remove from oven and using a spatula carefully drape the discs of parmesan over the oiled bowls and allow to cool. Once solid, place the bowls to one side.

Parmesan bowls

Gently heat the garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms have sweated off some of their moisture and reduced. Add the rice and stir until it takes on a transparent colour.

Add stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is al dente.

Stir in the cheese portioned for the risotto.

Spoon the risotto into the parmesan bowls.

Pan fry the scallops with a little salt and pepper. Scatter some piment d’Esplettes chilli (or crushed chilli) and drizzle with truffle oil.

Chilli Truffle Scallops

Place on the risotto.


Porcini risotto in parmesan bowls with truffle chilli scallops

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Categories: feature, Fish, Gluten Free, header, midweek suppers

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15 Comments on “Tales of our resettling and a warming comfort dish: Mushroom Risotto with Chilli Truffle Scallops in a Parmesan bowl”

  1. January 22, 2013 at 10:25 PM #

    We have often talked about moving away from London but its never quite happened for the right reason. I think that’s important and you seem you have found that. The Parmesan dish is a lovely twist on a warming risotto. Perfect for this weather

  2. January 23, 2013 at 2:37 AM #

    Everything about this dish sounds wonderful. Fantastic post!

  3. laura_howtocook
    January 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM #

    Oh i can sympathise with you. I still miss London after moving away 6 years ago next month! I have to admit though, it is pretty good to have so much space, greenery and a slower less frenetic pace of life. I love the mushroom risotto and adding beautiful scallops turns it into something very special indeed. Great to hear all about what you have been up to and I do hope we can get together soon. I am sure you have many more delicious recipes to post! xx

    • January 28, 2013 at 3:16 PM #

      It is not so far away though and I am looking forward to catching up soon with you

  4. andreamynard
    January 24, 2013 at 9:39 PM #

    Oh my goodness this looks delicious. I love your description of route to work too. Hope you enjoy having more space around you.

    • January 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM #

      thanks Andrea, that’s kind. It is a lovely route to work and I am starting to feel inspired to cook and blog again!

  5. January 26, 2013 at 1:16 AM #

    What a glorious recipe Nazima. Love mushroom and truffle risotto but adding the sweet scallops elevates it to a truly superb dish. So pleased to hear that you are enjoying your new life in Cambridge x

  6. January 28, 2013 at 6:33 AM #

    it’s wonderful to hear that you are settling in so happily. Happy Birthday to your daughter.
    The Parmasan bowls are fabulous and I love the combination of scallops and risotto.
    A (very) Belated Happy New Year.
    Jude x

    • January 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM #

      Thanks Jude that is kind. The bowls are a treat and easy to make. worth a try!

  7. January 31, 2013 at 12:03 AM #

    This looks so tasty! And sushi fan that I am, I would much rather have scallops in a parmesan basket. Glad to hear you are settling in, I’ve been wondering how you were getting on!

  8. February 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM #

    How beautiful, and it actually looks easy too. Perfect dinner party (for those that do those sorts of things) or wee treat food. It sounds like things have gone well with your move so it was obviously the right decision. A lovely part of the world, and still close enough to zap back to London as required. 5 sushi restaurants. Bliss.

  9. February 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM #

    Glad you’re settling in the area, Cambridge is lovely and there are lots of places to go with the children without it being too much hassle, both indoors and outdoors. I do love the look of this recipe, I love scallops!


  1. Best of the Foodie Blogs: Ten at Ten (53) | Foodies 100 - January 30, 2013

    […] absolutely love the little parmesan bowls in the mushroom risotto with chilli truffle scallops dish from Franglais Kitchen. It’s definitely something I’m going to try – in […]

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