“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”
Simply Decadent Seafood Risotto
Risotto is a dish that I hold in very high regard, not only for its creamy and irresistible deliciousness but also for its inherent simplicity. At its most basic it is comprised of just two ingredients; rice and broth. After that the flavour profile can change based on what you are craving or happen to have on hand. Long a staple in Northern Italian homes, it made its way to the restaurants of North America and somehow it was suddenly viewed as copmlicated or difficult. I promise you that risotto is probably in my top five “what am I going to make with these ingredients I happen to have on hand” kind of recipes. Get to know the basics and then go wild!
I suppose that many people shy away from for two reasons; 1, the time involved standing over the stove tending it, and 2, the perceived rules. Allow me to offer a few suggestions to overcome these misconceptions.
The time spent isn’t quite as much as you might think, particularly if you break it up a little and get your onion sweated out and grains “toasted” before hand… I mean honestly, you can do this step in the middle of the afternoon which then reduces the actual broth adding time to just under 20 minutes. Put on some good tunes and pour a glass of wine and you’re good to go! The rules… well I might be the wrong person to consult on this one but I do believe that rules are meant to be broken!
Should you use a high quality short grain rice? Yes. And does your broth need to be hot? Yes. That’s about it… the only other “rule” is that you must stir and stir and stir as that is where the magic happens!
Contrary to popular belief risotto is not creamy from the addition of cheese … case in point, no cheese is used in this particular recipe, although there was at least one very disappointed face around here when I explained that.
Making risotto is an act of love. Don’t just follow the instructions I’ve laid out for you here, really be present during the cooking of it. It’s marvelous to watch it unfold. Truly gorgeous to watch as the onions become translucent, witnessing as you stir and stir, the risotto grains give up their starch to provide their creamy deliciousness. It’s performance art happening right on your stove top.
So make like a wild child, set aside any preconceived notions of difficulty and rule following (well except one or two!) and make a beautiful pot of risotto to share with those you love.
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 6 cups chicken or fish broth, heated
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 10-15 small scallops OR 7-8 large, browned in butter
- 2 squid tubes, cut into rings, browned
- 16 black tiger shrimp, peeled deveined and cut into bite size pieces
- zest of 1 lemon
- S&P to taste
- parsley to garnish
- Prepare seafood as indicated above and set aside
- Heat broth and leave on low heat
- Sauté onion in oil until translucent
- Add rice to pot stirring to completely coat. You can set your work aside at this point until 20 minutes before you're ready to serve.
- Over medium heat, add white wine to rice, stirring until liquid is almost completely absorbed.
- Begin adding broth ½ cup or so at a time stirring constantly after each addition.
- Add shrimp to rice when you add the last of the broth, stirring until liquid is absorbed and shrimp is pink.
- Add scallops and squid, stirring to combine.
- Add lemon zest and S&P to taste
- Garnish with parsley if desired.
- Serve immediately