Friday, May 20, 2011

Risotto With Shrimp

                              Recipe for 6 people


18 to 24 shrimp, shelled, save the shells (and the heads if available)
4 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
3 shallots, minced
1 cup (1/4 liter) of dry white wine
fish trimmings, heads, bones, etc.
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
few peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
1 onion, finely minced
1 oz butter
2 oz butter
2 cups arborio rice (also Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1 cup dry white wine, room temperature
4 cups (hot) shrimp or fish stock
4 tablespoon of finely minced flat parsley


1. fish stock
In a large pot add fish trimmings, head, bones, 2 onions, chopped, 2 carrots, chopped, few peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 1 thyme sprig. Cover with water and bring to a simmer.
In a medium size pot with high sides add oil and preheat on medium heat. Add shrimp shells and heads, shallots and stir until well colored (almost brown), about 5 minutes. Lower the heat if it starts to burn. Add the white wine and stir well to scrape the bottom of the pan. When the alcohol has evaporated add some water, bring to the boil then transfer everything in the large pot that you started before. Let simmer for 45 minutes, keep hot for the risotto.

2. precook the shrimp
Lightly season the shrimp with salt. In a skillet with a dab of butter cook quickly the shelled shrimp on medium heat. Do not overcook as they will be incorporated in the risotto at the end and will cook a bit more. Save one shrimp per person for garnish, slice the rest in small rounds. Set aside.

3. cook the Rice

Start by melting 2oz of butter in a deep skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent, add a pinch of salt to make the onions sweat. Add the rice, make sure that the grains are well coated with butter. Let cook until the grains are partially translucent and there is a faint smell of nuts. At this point add the cup wine, stir well and let the alcohol evaporate entirely. When the rice starts to look dry lower the heat and start adding the stock, one ladle at the time (through a strainer to avoid adding shells and other solids from the stock). Taste the rice and adjust the seasoning. Keep adding stock until the rice is almost al dente. Use hot water if you run out of stock. At this point take the pan off the heat, add the cooked shrimp and the parsley. Stir and cover for few minutes.
Serve immediately with the saved cooked shrimp on top for garnish.

Note: For a deeper gold color add some saffron powder or threads during the cooking phase.

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