Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Pea, Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto

Spring Pea, Asparagus and Shrimp Risotto

I have been wanting to try to make a risotto since we had Karen's at Eric's 50th, so I experimented last night.  David was over to visit, so he helped me by stirring the risotto while I sauteed the ingredients. 

Both of us were unsure how much liquid to use and how often to add it, but it turned out quite well.  The directions on the box weren't exactly clear.  Risotto is Italian Abrorio rice, a short grain rice which cooks up sticky, and is found in the rice aisle.  The goal is a creamy, but not gooey risotto.

Tom said he really liked it, and we all felt quite pleased with our accomplishment.  It was a nice Spring meal.
Get three pans ready.  One for the chicken stock.  One for the risotto.  And one to saute, big enough to combine everything in the end. 

Heat chicken stock to a simmer and keep it hot for adding to the risotto.

Measure out the risotto.  Add one cup of stock and cook until it evaporates.  About 4 to 5 minutes on medium-high heat.  David did this, stirring and monitoring it.  I think it took 4 cups or 20 minutes to become creamy and al dente.
Meanwhile saute a chopped shallot on very low heat in a little olive oil until it begins to caramelize.

Snap and clean a large bunch of asparagus, cut into bit size pieces.  Add the larger, thicker pieces to the saute pan first, saving the tops until the end when you add the shrimp and peas.  The asparagus will take at least 8 to 12 minutes to cook on medium low. 

Defrost the cleaned, peeled shrimp, pat dry, season lightly with salt and a little cayenne pepper.

Open your peas.  I used a bag of cleaned and ready ones from the grocery section, but you could use frozen, too.  About 1 cup.

About 3 minutes before the risotto is ready, turn up the heat to high in the skillet and add the shrimp, the peas and the remaining asparagus tips.  Saute until the shrimp begins to turn pink,

then add the risotto to finish cooking it all together. Add a 1/2 cup or so of Italian cheese, fold it all together. 

Then portion out into shallow bowls and top with fresh chives.

Tom had cleanup duty so he had to soak the risotto pan because the risotto stuck to the bottom.  Maybe we should have added more stock to prevent this?


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