Thursday, November 15, 2012

Seafood Risotto

I think that risotto is becoming one of my most favorite meals ever! I am just impressed about how it goes from crunchy mealy rice to silky creamy smooth deliciousness; plus it is so adaptable depending on your pantry and fridge ingredients, mood, and desires. Was it really only a few months ago when I was intimidated by this dish? Although it does take a little bit of effort, you can put a restaurant quality dish on the table in less than a hour. Plus, it gives you an excuse to stand over the stove sipping wine (because of course you are going to drink the rest of the bottle of wine you opened for the recipe).

As I mentioned earlier this week, I made this seafood risotto for my parents while they were visiting. I think my dad enjoyed learning how to make it (you can tell he was excited enough to snap some photos). My kitchen is pretty small so my mom was tasked with peeling and deveining the shrimp then she retired to the living room to play on her iPad. :) 

Seafood risotto had been on my mind for awhile. Ideally, I would have sauteed up some scallops to set atop the rice, but since scallops do not play nice with my mom, we went with crab and shrimp. To tell you the truth, we didn't miss the scallops at all. I'm sure they would have been good, but the flavor of the crab really stole the show (and it was from a can!). We added some mushrooms to deepen the flavors and they complimented the seafood perfectly. I debated throwing in peas for a burst color, but my dad does not play nice with green vegetables so we skipped them. Didn't miss those either. I'd make this again in a heartbeat; you should too!

Seafood Risotto 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6-7 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth or seafood broth)
1 cup white wine
2 cups sliced mushrooms
6 oz can lump crabmeat, picked over to remove any shells
1/2 lb shrimp, peel and deveined
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
salt and pepper
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cover and reduce to low to simmer.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook, stirring quickly until the rice in well coated, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently until the liquid is almost gone, about 5-7 minutes. Add the broth, about 1 cup at a time, and stir the rice constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed, about 5-7 minutes. Continue to add broth until the rice has been cooking for 15-20 minutes. Add the mushrooms and add more broth continuing to stir completely absorbed. It will take around 35-45 minutes for the rice to cook completely. Taste periodically to see if the rice is tender and not mushy. Continue to cook, adding more liquid to keep moist until you reach the desired consistency.

When the rice is almost done, heat the 1 tsp olive oil in a small pan. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with Old Bay and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for about 1 minute on each side until pink and cooked through.

When the rice is completely cooked, stir in the crabmeat and cooked shrimp. Mix completely and remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese. 

Garnish with additional cheese as desired.

Serves 4.

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