Well the Thanksgiving leftovers are long gone but my family still expects a delicious dinner at the end of each day. (I knew I was creating monsters by feeding them so well!) Not yet ready to face one more trip to the grocery store, I took a quick survey of the ingredients I still had hanging around my fridge from the holiday; heavy cream, frozen raw shrimp, homemade turkey broth and white wine. Like a bolt of lightening (or a shot of limoncello) it hit me… Risotto!
Risotto, that sublime Italian rice dish, has a reputation for being incredibly time-consuming and fussy, but the reality is its really pretty simple to pull together. Hot broth in one pot, toasted arborio rice in another, a wooden spoon, a bit of butter and cheese, a smidgen of patience and buon appetito!… Risotto like you thought you could only get in a restaurant. Yes the spoon has to be wooden. Yes the broth has to be hot. Yes the risotto needs to be served IMMEDIATLY or it becomes dense and gluey. But that’s a small price to pay for a creamy, rich and luxurious dish of perfect risotto.
In the words of chef Jamie Oliver “Risotto… It takes a bit of time and a bit of love. In life, you can’t have everything in one basket.”
Simple Shrimp Risotto
You can get fancy and add asparagus or sweet peas to this risotto, but for me it was truly a means to using up my leftover holiday ingredients.
3 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tbsp. salted butter
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 tbsp. heavy cream
- Place the stock in a tall sided pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to a low simmer to keep warm.
- In a large skillet with a heavy bottom, heat oil and sauté onions until nearly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat with oil and sauté with onions to toast each grain, another 5-6 minutes (stirring frequently).
- Once toasted slowly add the white wine, stirring gently with a wooden spoon. Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add 1 cup of warm stock and stir.
- Add a second cup of stock to the pan, stir gently and allow the rice to absorb the liquid and the pot to once agin become dry. Continue to stir frequently and add the third and final cup of stock to the pan, cook once more until dry.
- Add the shrimp to the risotto, stir gently and cook until they are just pink, this will only take a few minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, cheese and heavy cream. Gently stir to melt the butter and combine ingredients and serve immediately.
*adapted from the reluctant gourmet