I know many people who are intimidated by risotto, they are afraid to make it and I am not sure why. Maybe it is because they are haunted by images of Gordon Ramsay screaming at contestants on Hell’s Kitchen who seem to forever have issues cooking risotto and scallops. In general I do not eat rice. Let me clarify, if you invite me over for dinner and have cooked rice then, for you, I will eat it. But I do not cook rice, you will not see me with a bowl of steaming rice on the table, or even Jamaican rice and peas. However there is always an exception to the rule and for me risotto is my exception.
Now whilst I claim to be no expert, I can cook a tasty risotto I am told and I think the secret is confidence and patience. You can’t really go wrong, just do not serve undercooked rice that crunches between your teeth or soggy risotto for it is not soup. I must admit photographing risotto for me is still a challenge I have yet to overcome, so trust me this dish tastes better than it looks (if you have any suggestions for how to make risotto look sexy in a picture I am all ears). I always have left over risotto for some reason so I am going to assume you may end up with some too, it is not a dish you can reheat in the microwave but have no fear make these delicious risotto balls and you will get two amazing meals for your efforts.
Live, Love, Eat!
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 8 shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 5 large asparagus
- 3 cups stock
- 1/2 shallot, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1.5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- salt and pepper
- Bring stock to boil and then simmer
- In a sauté pan melt butter over medium heat before adding garlic and shallots allowing them to cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Trim an inch off the base of your asparagus, if they have thick stems you should peel them, just under the tip down before cutting them into pieces about an inch wide.
- Add rice to the sauté pan and stir to coat it with the butter before adding white wine.
- Once the rice has soaked up the wine begin adding your stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring sparingly.
- After 2 cups of stock have been added, mix asparagus with the risotto. The risotto should soak up the stock less quickly after each half cup goes in. Make sure you taste before you add another half cup of stock so you can gauge how cooked your risotto is.
- After 2.5 cups have been added, it is time for the shrimp to go in.
- After your last half cup of stock is added you can squeeze half your lemon, add the zest and parmesan cheese, leaving a little to garnish your dish. At this point your rice should be creamy but not swimming and it should be soft but not mush. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Plate and enjoy!
- I used a Riesling although people recommend a dry wine when cooking risotto, I recommend using whichever wine you enjoy drinking.