Risotto is a labor of love. It's a hands-on process, but since one of my biggest food flaws is that I can't simply leave things alone, I tend to enjoy stirring the rice as it comes together and watching it change after each addition of broth.
- A large dutch oven for making the risotto. Even if you don't want to invest in an expensive one, there are some reasonable options out there that will work well, and you'll use it often.
- A seperate large pot for making shrimp stock
- Measuring cups
- A sieve/metal strainer
- A medium sized bowl
- A chefs knife
- A large cutting board
- 1c Arborio rice
- 1lb shrimp, deveined/ tail-on
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and cut into a few big pieces.
- 2 celery stalks, cut into a few big pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1c snow peas, ends trimmed, sliced on a diagonal
- 1/2c frozen peas
- 4c homemade shrimp stock, instructions below
- 1/2c white wine
- 1/2c light cream or half and half
- The juice of half a lemon
- Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
- 1TB butter
- 2TB olive oil
1. Prepare shrimp: If using frozen shrimp, defrost overnight in the fridge, or place in a collander and defrost under cool running water. Once defrosted, squeeze the tails off the shrimp and set the tails aside in a small bowl. Shrimp can stay in the collander or a separate bowl. Season them with pinches of salt, pepper, and cayenne, and toss to coat.
2. Make the shrimp stock: Heat 1TB of the olive oil in a large pot. Add the shrimp tails and large chunks of onion and celery. Cook in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes, then cover with 8c water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer, covered but slightly vented, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3. Cut vegetables as described and set them aside in separate bolws or separate parts of your cutting board since they'll all be used at different stages in the process. Prepare an ice bath by filling a medium sized bowl with 4-5 ice cubes and water. Place sliced snow peas in a handheld metal seive/strainer, and place the strainer into the simmering stock for 2 mintues, until still snappy, but not raw. You're not dumping the now peas into the stock, they remain in the sieve. Remove from stock and dump into ice bath. Set aside.
4. Heat the other 1TB of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat and cook shrimp for 2 minutes on each side. Test one for doneness by taking it out and cutting into the thickest part to make sure it's opaque all the way through. Remove cooked shrimp and set them aside in a clean bowl tented with foil.
5. Melt 1TB butter in the dutch oven, then add onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30s. Add rice and saute for 1-2 mins, just until the grains start to get a little translucent around the edges. Because you cooked shrimp in the same pot, there will be some browning on the pan. That's good for this recipe, we want all that flavor.
6. Add 1/2c white wine and cook, stirring often, until fully absorbed, about 3-4 minutes. Season with a big pinch of salt. Using a 1c measuring cup, add 1c of simmering stock to the risotto at a time, taking care to leave all veggies and shrimp tails behind, stirring often, and waiting until all liquid has been absorbed before adding the next cup. (you'll likely have some stock leftover at the end, assuming it didn't all boil off.) Each addition will take approximately 6-7 minutes to fully absorb. Once all 4 cups of stock have been incorporated, the rice should be similar to an al dente pasta. It shouldn't be hard, but it should still have some texture. Season with salt again at this stage if necessary.
7. Turn off the heat and fold in the snow peas, frozen peas, and half and half or light cream. Finally stir in the lemon juice. Divide among bowls and top with shrimp and a lemon wedge.