Shrimp and Sweet Pea Risotto
Risotto is rice. It is Arborio Rice to be exact, and it comes from the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. I like to think of it as creamy rice, and also a meal in itself. Some folks like it extra creamy and some people like it cheesy. Its great both ways. This variation uses Brookmere Chardonnay and includes a Chef’s note that may make it one of your go to workhorses of the kitchen.
Time: 30-45 mins.
Serves: 4 for a one or two course meal, 6-8 for a three or more-course dinner.
3 cup chicken broth
4 T extra virgin olive oil
½ cup small diced onion
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 T butter
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup Brookmere chardonnay
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 lb. size 16/20 per lb. peeled deveined shrimp
1 cup peas, thawed if frozen, blanched if fresh. You may also use snap peas or snow peas, cut into bite size pieces.
¾ shredded parmesan cheese
Set oven to warm. You will need a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot and another small pot for the stock. Set both on medium high heat. Add stock to the smaller pot and allow to heat as you assemble the risotto.
When the dutch oven is hot, add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoon butter. Once starting to sizzle, add all the shrimp, cook until just done through and reserve to warm oven.
Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil to empty pan and add garlic, onion, red pepper flake and rice. Stir to coat and cook until the heat comes back strong and begins to brown. Add the wine and cook until absorbed by rice.
Next you will start adding stock but, you will need to choose the method you are most comfortable with:
Cook it like rice. Add the stock all at one time, stir it and put a lid on it until it boils, then turn it to low and let it cook for 20 minutes. It isn’t a bad idea check it at least once to see how much liquid has been absorbed.
Add the stock a ladle or two at a time. As you cook you will be stirring (preferably with a wooden spoon for Chef points) and as you stir the rice absorbs the liquid and cooks up nicely. You won’t want to walk too far away from it with this method.
Whichever method you choose, after 15 minutes add the peas. The rice should be al dente at least and getting close to that magical texture we all love.
When the rice is soft you may add the shrimp, the cheese and the butter, stir in and turn off heat. Let it rest in the pot for just a few minutes to reheat shrimp.
Another cook told me one time that creaminess of risotto comes from the rice. I thought that using method 1 wouldn’t have creamy texture because I wasn’t stirring out the starch and then binding it to the fat in cream and butter. Turns out the creaminess came out as I stirred it when it was cooked. I do it that way every time now. P.S. heat a little more stock than you think you need.