Sunday, February 10, 2008

Seafood risotto

I got my cooking mojo back this weekend after a bit of rest and relaxation. I cooked dinner on Saturday for a friend before we went to the ballet. Last year she and I fixed lobster together in what turned out to be quite an adventure involving garden tools. I was determined not to let any of our pricey crustaceans go to waste so I took the carcases home to join some crab leg shells and shrimp shells in a pot for some homemade seafood stock.

It has been sitting in my freezer for ages. I decided seafood risotto was the perfect dish for it. The risotto turned out great! Excellent stock really is the ticket for fantastic risotto. And seafood stock is a real treat! Next time you fix crab or shrimp at home, save the shells and make a stock.

Seafood risotto:

1 1/2 c. aborio rice
2 shallots minced
2 T butter
1/2 c. white wine
4 to 6 c. seafood stock
A small pinch of saffron
1lb shrimp peeled, or shrimp and scallops combination
2 T butter softened to room temp
1/4 c. or more of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Warm the stock over low heat in a saucepan, sprinkle a pinch of saffron into the stock and stir. Don't overdo the saffron. It should be enough just to suggest saffron and not to overpower the seafood. Melt the 2 T butter over medium heat in another saucepan or dutch oven. Add shallots and cook until softened about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it is coated in butter. Add the wine and let it cook off.

Slowly add the stock one or two cups at a time allowing the liquid to absorb before adding more. Stir often. It should take about 30 to 40 minutes to add the stock. The aborio should be tender and the consistency creamy. After adding the last cup of stock, add the shrimp or other seafood. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and the scallops are done.

Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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