Well, I’m beginning to think Italian thoughts, as we get organized for our trip this spring. The other day I felt the “Spring trajectory” cross the “Italian trajectory” in my head and…presto…RISOTTO! Our totally terrific local fish store FITTS SEAFOOD makes wonderful broth…halibut, chicken, fish stock and shrimp broth. They make the broth there at Fitts Seafood and it has no added sodium…very important to us. So I decided on a shrimp risotto as I had some fresh asparagus, fresh peas, carrots, and the desire to try the shrimp broth.
1 TBLSP OLIVE OIL
1 CLOVE OF GARLIC, MINCED
1 SMALL SHALLOT FINELY CHOPPED
1 CUP CARNAROLI (ARBORIO) RICE
1/2 CUP DRY WHITE WINE
3 CUPS STOCK (IN THIS CASE I USED SHRIMP BROTH)
1 PINCH OF SAFFRON (or use 1/4 tsp turmeric…cheaper but colorful)
1 TSP LEMON ZEST
JUICE OF ONE LEMON
1/3 CUP GRATED PARMIGIANO OR ROMANO CHEESE
3-4 SPEARS OF FRESH ASPARAGUS, BUT INTO 1/4 INCH PIECES
1/2 FROZEN PEAS (DON’T THAW)…I USED FRESH…
I ADDED A BIT OF CARROT…ORGANIC, CHOPPED FINELY…
FRESH SHRIMP…I served 4 whole shrimp per serving…
1. Remove tails from shrimp and in a small bowl combine with a little olive oil, a splash of white wine, a squeeze of lemon juice, one small clove of freshly minced garlic, pepper. Set aside to marinate.
2. Heat broth in a small pan.
3. In a good sized pan heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic and shallots, stirring until fragrant.
4. Add rice to pan stirring for a few moments to coat rice. Add wine and half a cup of the broth. Stir frequently until most of the broth is absorbed. The trick with risotto is to keep the heat slightly under medium and to pull the spoon or spatula across the bottom of the pan until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is revealed as you bull the spoon across it. Add another 1/2 c. of the broth…etc. until all the liquid is absorbed (about 20-25 minutes).
5. Meanwhile (within 10 minutes of the risotto being ready): in a small skillet heat 1 TBSP olive oil and a tiny bit of unsalted butter and saute the asparagus (and the carrots and fresh peas)…5-6 minutes until asparagus is al dente…then add shrimp and cook until pink…about 2 minutes per side…
6. When risotto is finished, remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice (I started with less lemon juice and added more until the taste was right for us), lemon zest, cheese, asparagus (and other veg) and/or frozen peas…I added a few roasted tomatoes this time as I had them on hand. Plate risotto, top with the shrimp and sprinkle with a bit of shaved cheese…
Serve with a glass of cold white wine and begin planning your trip to Italy…!