You know when you have a day that looks like this …
and you just want to have happy smells of cooking, warmth, and goodness inside? (Yes, that’s wind fiercely blowing those few leaves off the tree).
Well, this risotto recipe should do the trick. You need special rice for risotto. It’s fatter – rounder than usual rice, and it should be white, and not the yellowish parboiled stuff. I wanted to make it earlier in the day so the pictures were not so dim, but I didn’t have time.
Start by sautéing a pound of shrimp in a small amount of olive oil (a Tablespoon or two). Salt it and set it aside.
Then add another two tablespoons of olive oil to fry the onion (1 large), garlic (2 cloves), and thyme (1 teaspoon). I puréed the onion and garlic first because I think the risotto tastes better when the onions are mixed well throughout.
Add a pound of mixed mushrooms, a half-teaspoon of white pepper, a teaspoon of sea salt, and stir that in, allowing the mushrooms to cook. I used a frozen blend of different mushrooms and that was perfect.
Pour two cups of risotto into this sautéed mix
and stir it to absorb the remaining juice.
Then add a cup of white wine, and alcohol-free works just fine, if – like us – you don’t keep alcohol in the house.
(Those little specks in there are pieces of rice)
Let the wine get completely absorbed, and then stir in 8 cups of chicken broth, a cup at a time. The last time I made risotto, I had homemade broth from a leftover chicken, but this time I had to make it from bouillon cubes. If you do that, be careful about how much salt you put into the rice. It may not need as much (or it may need more). I thought it tasted good with a teaspoon of salt, plus the salted bouillon cubes. And I used 3 large ones for 8 cups of water, heating the entire thing so that the cubes would melt.
You want the heat to be low, but if you feel like it’s taking forever for the liquid to absorb, you can turn the heat up a little. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan. You have to stir the rice often so that the liquid absorbs evenly.
Some time in the beginning of adding your broth, put the zest of one or two lemons in your risotto.
I’m showing this picture because not everyone knows the zest just means the skin. I once had someone (who offered to help) try to zest the entire lemon into a dish using a cheese grater. It was good, but lemony!
The zest of one lemon will give it just a hint of lemon, and the zest of two will bring the lemon flavour out much more. It’s really a matter of personal taste.
And when the last of the broth has been added, the grains of rice should still be firm, but very creamy.
When the rice is done, turn the heat off, and add 30 grams of butter and a cup and a third of parmesan.
Stir that in, and add the shrimp.
And serve immediately. (Hot!)
(This photo is taken in the waning light outdoors)
With dinner accompli (!) you can enjoy a warm meal and happy activities!
- 1 lb shrimp
- 4 T olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 t thyme
- 1 t sea salt
- ½ t white pepper
- 1 lb wild mushrooms
- 2 cups special risotto rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 30 g butter (2-3 T)
- 1⅓ c parmesan
- Sauté shrimp in 1 T olive oil and set aside.
- Purée, then sauté onion, garlic and seasonings.
- When the onion is cooked, add the mushrooms and cook those.
- Add the rice and stir 'til liquid is absorbed.
- Add the wine, cook til absorbed.
- Then add the broth, one cup at a time, cooking and stirring until absorbed.
- Turn off heat, and stir in butter, parmesan and shrimp.
- Serve hot.