Monday, August 31, 2009

Seafood Risotto

I have expressed my love for both risotto and Cook's Illustrated in previous posts, so imagine my excitement when I came across a recipe for risotto from Cook's Illustrated! And it has shrimp! And scallops! And wine! And I can use tomatoes and basil from my garden! The excitement was exhausting.

This was a fairly quick weeknight dinner, and since risotto is basically a one-pot meal, clean up is a breeze as well. In fact, the shrimp and scallops are essentially poached in the risotto; seriously, it doesn't get any easier.

This had a great seafood flavor without being overly fishy. The saffron gave it a nice depth of flavor, and the clam juice reinforced the seafood taste without being overpowering. I used bay scallops instead of cutting up sea scallops. I also used a shallot instead of onion... because it just seemed like the right thing to do. The only other change I would make would be to add a squirt of lemon juice when serving. I felt like it would have benefited from the acid and brightness.

I served this with a nice dry rose' and a crusty baguette, and it was a great summer meal.

Seafood Risotto
adapted from Cook's Illustrated
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced (1/3 cup)
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup Arborio rice
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 6 ounces bay scallops (about 1 cup scallops)
  • 1 tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • lemon wedges, for serving
Combine the chicken broth and clam juice in a medium heat proof bowl. Cover, and microwave until hot, 1 to 3 minutes.

Melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots have softened, 1-3 minutes. Stir in the rice and saffron and cook until the ends of the rice are transparent, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until it is completely absorbed, 1-2 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the hot broth mixture and simmer, stirring frequently, until all the liquid has absorbed, and the bottom of the pan is almost dry. This will take close to 10 minutes.

Adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until almost all the liquid has been absorbed between each addition. Be careful not to let the bottom of the pan dry out. Continue to stir often, and repeat until the rice is al dente, about 10-15 minutes. You may not use all the broth. I just began tasting after about 10 minutes, and kept adding broth and stirring until it was done.

Vigorously stir in the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter until it has melted. Gently fold in the shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, basil, and 1/3 cup of the broth mixture. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low, and cook until the seafood is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir once halfway through cooking. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.


Molly Jean said...

Sounds divine. I have not tackled risotto yet.. it just sounds so intimidating! But the seafood ingredients might just be enough to give me the courage...

Bridget said...

Seafood risotto, baguette, and It's the perfect meal.

melslatt said...

Yum - definitely trying this one!

Phoo-D said...

This looks and sounds wonderful! I am planning on making a shrimp risotto for this weekend. Now I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

I love risotto and can't wait to make more now that the weather is getting cooler. This looks like a great recipe, and I love the one-pot convenience.

Laura said...

I recently discovered risotto, and it was everything I dreamed it could be. This looks wonderful!

Erin said...

I love risotto, and I love seafood! This looks perfect! I can't wait to try it :)

Josie said...

Molly, don't be intimidated! Its nothing to be scared of... you just stand at the stove and stir, stir, stir (with a glass of wine in your hand)!

Sarah R said...

my mom made this for last night's Italian Fish Dinner - she said it was the best shed ever eaten (and apparently our guests felt the same - it was the first thing to go!)

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