5.10.2010

Risotto and Seafood Skewers

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I have stayed clear of risotto. I watch enough shows that tell me how easy it really is, and that I shouldn't fear it. But, I never quiet believe them. And I was right. Though very delicious, it took a really long time, standing directly over the stove, to make. I'm talking 40 minutes. For rice!

Earlier in the day, I made a shrimp broth by boiling shrimp shells with salt and pepper in some water. Nothing fancy. And I used the broth in my risotto, which gave it a rich, seafoody flavor. Yum, seafoody.

Alongside the risotto, we grilled jumbo shrimp, and scallops on skewers. And there was a salad with cucumbers, radishes, feta and a mustard dressing.
Creamy Risotto, with Asparagus and Peas
Since this was my first time making it, I kind don't remember all the details, but here's the jist.
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
stock, have plenty on hand, I used shrimp
butter, 3-4 tbsp
olive oil
1/2 pound of trimmed asparagus, cut into 1 inch strips
1 cup of peas
2 shallots, chopped fine
white wine
Pecorino cheese
salt and pepper

1) Heat olive oil and half your butter in a dutch oven, add your shallots and cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat.
2) Add rice, and coat with olive and onions. Toast a few minutes.
3) Add about 1/4 cup of dry white wine. Something nice.You can drink the rest while you cook, it's going to be a while.
4) Stir in the asparagus.
5) When the wine is about 3/4's absorbed, reduce the heat to the lower setting, and ladle in enough stock to cover the smoothed out risotto. When the added liquid level drops about 1/3, re-cover the risotto with more stock.
6) Continue this process for about 20-30 minutes. Just taste as you go along, you don't want it too hard, or too mushy.
7) When the stock absorption rate slows down considerably, add the cooked peas.
8) At the end of cooking, when there's just enough of moisture, but most of the liquid is absorbed, add the cheese and remaining butter. Remove from heat and stir the risotto well to blend in the cheese and butter.
9) Let it stand for 2-3 minutes and serve. By this time, you will be plenty hungry. And so will your guests.

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