Monday, June 2, 2014

Seafood Risotto

Having some extra mushrooms in the fridge prompted me to want to make some risotto.  I also had a couple containers of seafood stock in the freezer so I decided to do some cleaning.

Let me start by saying that there's nothing better than homemade stock.  During crab (dungeness but you can use any crab) season, I took the shells of a couple that we'd had for dinner one night and boiled them one afternoon along with some veggies I had (a couple small bits of onion, carrot and celery).  So yummy.    Make your own the next time you have some lobster, shrimp or crab shells that you're about to toss in the trash.  I used some of the stock to make a chowder and have an idea for more of it later in addition to the risotto.

Now let me continue by saying, the one thing you need to remember about risotto is that it requires a lot of attention.  I don't know how those contestants do it on the cooking shows.  It requires almost constant stirring in order to get the starches out of the rice and make it a thick, rich and creamy dish.

I started the dish by adding the leftover bacon grease from breakfast to a pot along with a few pats of butter.  I then diced a shallot and one garlic clove and added it.  Once that gets all sizzly, add the risotto and stir it around so that it gets coated well.  Leave it in there for a few minutes and then add some seafood stock and give it a few more good stirs.

In the meantime, I diced up some sundried tomatoes and added them to the mixture.  Stir.  I went out and snipped a good handful of fresh basil.  I brought it in, cleaned and diced it.  Stir, stir, stir.  Continue to stir until it's time to add more.  You'll know because the rice is white and there's very little liquid.  Add stock, stir.

While that's cooking, I put some shrimp on a couple skewers and took the feet off some scallops and skewered those too.  I take the feet and dice them up super tiny and add them to the risotto.  Make sure you get them tiny because they're tough but I hate throwing them away.  If they're small enough, they'll add flavor and no one will know they were ever even in there.  Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper and a dash of italian dried herbs.

Stir the risotto.  And then stir more until it needs more stock.  Add more.  I add about a cup at a time. I only used one cup of risotto.  Clean the mushrooms.  I used button, cremini (small portabella) and portabellas.  Dice them but keep them a nice bite-sized (not too small).  I had a spare piece of corn on the cob in the fridge so I shucked it and removed the corn from the cob.

When the risotto is almost done, add the basil, corn and mushrooms.  Get some parmigiano reggiano cheese and have the shredder at the ready.  Toss the seafood on the grill.  I actually put the scallops onto a non-stick tin foil because I didn't trust the skewers.  I added a couple pats of butter and then sat them in it.  I didn't get a good sear on them but they tasted good none-the-less.  I also put a few slices of buttered sour dough on the grill and toasted it.  I then rubbed it with a tad of garlic to serve alongside the dish.  Stir in the cheese and serve.

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