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Seafood Risotto

June 21, 2010

I haven’t made risotto in a long time so when a co-worker shared some that he made I got the bug. One of the great things about risotto is that its variations are almost endless. You need short grain rice, olive oil or butter, usually some shallots, onion or garlic, wine, hot cooking liquid be it broth or stock, sometimes vegetables and/or protein of some sort and good Parmigiano to finish it and add to the creamy texture the constant stirring creates. Normally, cheese is not used with fish or seafood so I didn’t use any with this recipe.

 ArborioCarnaroli and Vialone Nano are three types of short grain round or semi-round rice that work best for making risotto. Short grain rice has a higher percentage of amylopectin one of the two starches in rice. It breaks down when heated unlike the other starch, amylose, which is more prevalent in longer grain rice. There are distinct differences in these three rices though and by trying each kind you may decide for yourself which you like best. I prefer Arborio because when cooked for 18 minutes has the al dente bite the others lack. Carnaroli with its slightly longer grain and higher starch content will make a softer and cremier risotto while risotto made with Vialone Nano tends to be soupier which is prefered in the Veneto region.

 Seafood Risotto

for 6 servings you’ll need:

1 pound seafood

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 shallots (1/2 cup finely chopped)

1 clove garlic – finely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine – warmed

1 cup chopped tomato

2 cups Arborio Rice

2 Tbsp butter

6-8 cups boiling stock (use fish stock if available or chicken broth or clam juice diluted with water)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp ground fennel

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

Heat broth or stock and keep on low simmer while you start the risotto in a separate heavy bottom pot. Heat olive oil and sauté shallots and seafood for a minute or until no longer translucent or just cooked. Remove seafood to plate. Add wine and heat for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and spices, cook for another minute before adding rice. When adding rice turn timer to 18 minutes. Cook and stir until tomato juice is absorbed. Add a ladle of hot broth and continue stirring until broth is almost absorbed, add another ladle of broth and repeat until only a minute remains on the timer. Add butter and seafood, stir then let sit until 18 minutes is up.  Season with salt, pepper and parsley. 

**Side note by an observant risotto connoisseur. Normally, the rice is heated in the pan then the wine is added followed by the broth. In this recipe I added the rice to the tomatoes and wine which turned out fine but is not the standard “risotto procedure”… thank you Andrew.

Mixture of squid, shrimp, bay scallops and langoustine (Norway Lobster or Dublin Bay Prawn). All from Trader Joe’s otherwise buy the freshest you can find.

Keep broth boiling

Stirring constantly between additions of broth help the starches cook

off the rice to create the creamy texture

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Web Manager :) permalink
    June 22, 2010 8:03 am

    Nice blog post. My wife loves risotto, but I’m wondering if this recipe is too complicated for us novies to tackle.

  2. June 22, 2010 11:33 am

    Hey Mike,
    It’s really pretty simple and all risotto recipes follow the same basic procedure wheither it is cooking the seafood in advance and holding it to the side or adding cubed squash half way thru cooking. The little variances are based on what you are adding to it. Maybe you should try a simple Risotto alla Milanese that is just Rice, onion sauteed in butter, white wine, chicken stock, saffron and parmesan cheese.. Try this or google Risotto alla Milanese and there are some instructional videos that might help. The key is to keep adding liquid when you see the rice has absorbed what you last added, not letting it dry up and to set a timer to 18 minutes as that’s pretty much the perfect amount of time… let me know how it turns out and thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 Amy


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