Do you watch Chopped? It's a cooking show where 4 chefs start out to compete on a 3 course meal prepared using mystery ingredients that are only provided to them seconds before they start. One chef is chopped after each course, so they are frantically trying to beat the clock, get all the mystery ingredients incorporated, and make a visually appealing, taste bud conquering dish to present the judges. They get 30 minutes for each course, and I've seen the judges get superbly nervous when someone attempts a risotto, and even watched chefs get chopped because of that choice. So I was scurred to make it at home. It's an intimidating dish, but it's not complicated, just time consuming. I'm telling you right now, buck up and do this or you will be sorry. If you can stir for 30 minutes, you can make restaurant worthy risotto. Let's throw another BOOYAH in here for emphasis!
Risotto is a class of Italian rice dishes cooked in broth to a creamy consistency, and is actually one of the most common ways to prepare rice in Italy (according to the all knowing Wikipedia, that is). You must use a high starch, short grain white rice to achieve the perfect consistency, as the rice needs to release starch and absorb liquids. Most commonly, risotto recipes call for arborio rice, and that's what I used. I get a monthly newsletter from Waterfront (our local fresh seafood market that I signed up for when getting fresh fish for sushi at home one night). I have since made a handful of the recipes that are printed in the back, and have never been disappointed in the least. I should really dig the archives out and try more of them after experiencing the euphoria I did from this dish...
Here's what you need to play the game:
1 T olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
freshly ground black pepper
6 cups seafood stock (I used chicken stock because I had it on hand)
1 t minced garlic (I used more like 1T)
1 lb arborio rice
2 lbs assorted shellfish and seafood (I used 1 lb of scallops, 1 lb of shrimp)
1 T butter
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used skim milk)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
3 T chopped green onion
2 T parsley
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt and pper to taste, and cook while stirring. Saute until the onions are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 6 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring constantly.
Clean and trim the shellfish and seafood you're using. Season the seafood with salt and pepper. Add the seafood to the skillet. Stir in the butter, cream , cheese, parsley, and green onions. Continue to cook and stir for 6-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and spoon the risotto onto your plate, and into your mouth. I served this with our favorite veggie, the roasted brussel sprouts. Can I get another BOOYAH!?