23 March 2008

Lemon Seafood Risotto

On Carrie's theme of shellfish, last night I made Lemon Seafood Risotto-a tasty and relatively easy risotto dish. I'm sure our friends who are chefs would gasp that this recipe is called risotto, but it DOES involve Arborio rice and involves some of the basic risotto techniques. However, it is a bit easier than regular risotto, and it is low-fat, (relatively) low-cholesterol, heart-healthy and tasty version of the super-creamy original.

The ingredients:

2 tsp. vegetable oil of your choice (Recipe calls for vegetable spray--but I can't do that to my precious stainless pans!)
1 medium leek, sliced (or minusculely minced if your husband hates onions)
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1 cup Arborio rice (about 8 ounces)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (divided into 1 1/2 cup and 1 cup)
1 cup dry white wine
8 ounces of bay scallops
8 ounces medium shrimp, deveined and shelled
3 ounces of fresh snow peas, trimmed and halved (or asparagus, in our case)
1/2 of a medium red bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons finely shredded lemon rind
This recipe is a bit more involved than some. What risotto isn't? But it is a good Saturday night movie dish, as we found out. We tend to use flash frozen shellfish unless we can get to a highly reputable fish monger. (Because, hey, this is Chicago, and ocean is nowhere to be found!)

Saute snow peas (or asparagus) and bell pepper in the oil for 5-6 minutes. Until almost cooked and pretty in color.

Remove asparagi and peppers and add the leeks. Saute leeks for 3 minutes and then add the garlic, sauteing for an additional 2 minutes or so (until your kitchen smells yummy and before the veggies turn brown). Then add the rice to the pan and toast for 5 minutes, stirring often. Although I am not a chef, I understand one of the key things about risotto is the toasting of the rice prior to the addition of liquid. This provides a bit of depth to the taste (and again makes the house smell heavenly):

Next, add 1 1/2 cups of broth and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I think this is where there recipe deviates somewhat from a traditional risotto, in which the liquid is added quite slowly and absorbed along the way.)

Then add the remaining broth and wine. Increase the heat to medium and cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring constantly. There will still be a small amount of liquid when this step is complete.

Add the scallops, shrimp, asparagus/asparagi and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is almost absorbed, about five-six minutes. The rice should be just tender and slightly creamy, and the shrimp should have just turned pink.

Finally, stir in the Parmesan, basil and lemon rind.

Heat through and serve immediately with a touch (or a mound, if you prefer) of Parmesan on top.

We drank: For the risotto and our glasses, we chose a 2006 Folie a Deux Menage a Trois White--a relatively inexpensive blend. It is not entirely dry, but its a nice bright white. We found it in Food and Wine's "Best American Wines"--all of which are under $15. A good article for folks who want some ideas about relatively inexpensive wines that can be found fairly easily.

We watched: Dan in Real Life. Good movie. Steve Carrell and Juliette Binoche. Funny and sweet.


Carrie said...

Mmmm... Looks delicious!!

Becki said...

Wow Erin, I'm impressed! I'm thinking the Chicken Noodle Soup in the previous entry is more my speed and fits the less sophisticated taste of my family. I'm sure your Risotto is wonderful!!! I really enjoy reading this blog.