Wildcilla's Culinary Daydreams

Shrimp Risotto
October 6, 2009, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Oh, wow.  I could have taken pictures of Shrimp Risotto, but instead, I scarfed down an enormous bowl of it in about 10 minutes.  So there were no pictures.  Because they were eaten.

Instead, let me tell you about Shrimp Risotto.  Creamy, delicious, you get to drink wine while you make it, little bits of shrimp in every bite, tastes of wine and cream and cheese and shrimp, did I mention you get to drink wine while you make it?  This is superb.  You should make it.

Three things you should know in advance:

1) If you don’t know what ‘mise en place’ means, this is the recipe to learn.  Mise en place is French, literally meaning “everything in it’s place”.  In cooking, it means everything should be chopped, placed in little bowls, and at the ready for when it is needed in the recipe.  You’ll be stirring a lot (that’s point number 3), so there won’t be time to chop later.  Get it all prepped and mised en placed (that’s totally made up French, by the way) before you start stirring and this will turn out wonderfully.

2) Frozen shrimp are totally fine.  That’s what I used.

3) You will be stirring for like 30 minutes.  Prepare yourself.  Mise en place not only the food, but yourself.  Have your book or magazine (quick, buy Gourmet magazine, there’s no more after this month!), pour yourself a glass of wine, and have the bottle within easy reaching distance.

Shrimp Risotto
– Accumulated from like 10 recipes I found on the internet so I could combine it into the right one.  Mainly from http://www.epicurious.com and http://www.thepioneerwoman.com.

1/2 pound shrimp

3 cloves garlic, minced and divided

1 shallot, minced

1 and 1/4 cup white wine

3 cups broth

Red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup Arborio rice (it has to be Arborio – it’s not really expensive, and I can find it in Lubbock, so you can do it, I promise)

2 tablespoons cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (please, I beg of you, not out of a can)

1 green onion, chopped

Lemon, sliced in wedges

First, heat up a tablespoon of butter in a deep pot on medium low.  Toss in a few red pepper flakes – lots if you like it hot, a few if you don’t.  Add one of those minced garlic cloves, and stir that around with a wooden spoon until it’s brown.  Add your shrimp (no tails!) and if they’re not cooked at all yet (which means you live some place fancy with fresh shrimp), saute them for about two minutes.  If they’re frozen, give them less time then that.  Now add 1/4 cup white wine.  Let the shrimp sizzle around in that for a while.  Then drain the shrimp and put them in one bowl and reserve the liquid.  (What you reserved is liquid shrimpy gold.  We’ll use that soon.)  Take a handful of the shrimp out of the keepers and chop them up in little bits, and put them in a separate bowl.  This is what will infuse your risotto with shrimpy goodness.

Ok, you’re going to use that same pot for the risotto, but you need another pot for the broth.  Pour your 3 cups broth into that pot and heat it on medium.  You don’t need it boiling, but you want it warm, so that it just pulls right into the rice.  *Note on broth – all I had was chicken stock.  However, after making this risotto once, I have all the shrimp tails – so next time, I’ll make seafood broth and use that.

Alright, you’ve got a full glass of wine?  You’ve got your magazine handy, or someone entertaining in your kitchen?  You think you’re ready to roll?  Let’s go.  First, put the rest of the olive oil and butter in the pot you used for the shrimp.  Keep the stove on medium low, and saute the rest of the garlic and the chopped shallot.  (Kitchen smells good already, huh?  Just wait.)  Let the shallot get translucent, don’t burn the garlic, and now pour in your cup of rice.  Toss it around a bit with that same wooden spoon, and let it get all coated in butter.  Now, pour in your cup of wine.  (If you’re like me, which mean immature and not too far out of college, you make a drinking game out of this.  Every new splash the rice gets, you have to take a drink.  Don’t feel obligated to do this if you’re way more mature than me.)  Now begins the stirring.  Just keep stirring.  The rice is going to absorb all of that wine and beg for more.  When it starts getting dry (it’s always going to look creamy, but dry to me says you can see the bottom of the pan when you stir), add a cup or half a cup of the broth.  Then keep stirring.  Always stirring.  You can only stop to turn the page, kiss whoever grated the cheese for you, make the dog stop barking at you for shrimp, or pour more wine.  These are the Priscilla Shrimp Risotto rules.  You must obey.

You’re still stirring, I know.  It’s been like 20 minutes, and you just poured in the last of the broth.  I know, your arm is tired, you finished the magazine, the dog won’t stop, I know.  Believe me, it’s worth it.  So that last cup of broth is about absorbed.  Pour in the cup you reserved from the shrimp and wine goodness.  Keep stirring, you’re almost done.  Now that’s absorbed.  Taste it.  The rice should still have a bit of a bite, but be warm and chewy and delicious.   If you aren’t there yet, add more broth and start the next chapter.  This could take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on your rice.  Mine was good to go at 30.

Alright, now you’re ready for the fun part.  Take a sip of wine, and stir in the chopped up shrimp.  Add your cream, your cheese, some pepper, and taste.  Do you need salt?  My cheese made mine salty enough, but check yours.  Add if you think you need it.  Now ladle a cup or two of rice into your bowl (and your friend’s, if you found someone lucky enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor).  Top it off with your cooked shrimp (I arranged mine in a pretty circle), your green onions sprinkled over, and a squeeze of lemon around it all.  Refill your glass of wine, and eat immediately.

Oh my.  Did you eat immediately?  Are you currently biting into your shrimpy, wine infused, cheesy rice?  Could life be better right now?

No.  No it couldn’t.


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