Ah, risotto: bane of the lazy cook.
If the end product weren’t so deliriously delicious, I’m not sure you could convince me to constantly stir a pot of rice for a half hour straight. Repetitive, monotonous tasks just aren’t my forte.
This dish is mostly based on a Food & Wine recipe (you can see a by-the-books version here). I felt it was necessary to add the mushrooms and Parmesan because, well… all risotto should have mushrooms and Parmesan. It’s kind of a peanut butter and jelly issue for me.
Regardless of your personal preferences (and I highly encourage you to experiment further), the juxtaposition of the light, spicy shrimp and the heavy, tangy risotto really dances on the tongue and warms the belly.
Here’s how it goes:
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (preferably chanterelles or wild mushrooms)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small chilies, chopped or 1 tbsp dry red pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1.5 cups arborio rice
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp grated lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Saute mushrooms in 1 tbsp of butter until liquid is released. Remove from heat and set aside.
Crush garlic and chilies together, preferably in a mortar. If using red (or chili) pepper, combine with crushed garlic and a little olive oil. Cover and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Cover and keep hot.
In a larger saucepan, melt 1 tbsp of butter in 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock, one cup at a time, stirring constantly and making sure all of the stock has been absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes total.
When the rice is cooked through but still al dente, add the sauted mushrooms. The risotto is done when the grains are just tender and the sauce is creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice, zest, remaining butter and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and cover.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook over high heat until the shrimp are almost pink throughout, about 2 minutes. Add the chile/pepper and garlic mixture and cook, stirring for 1 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
Stir the risotto. Spoon into bowls or serving plates. Top risotto with shrimp. Serve with lemon wedges and/or extra parsley.
As you can tell, I didn’t have parsley. Which is really a shame, because a few flecks of green might have livened up the pictures.
I should really work on my presentation skills.