Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Seafood Risotto Perfecto


All the delicious seafood in Oregon spoiled us for a while and we've been eating out a lot. But I got my focus back and pulled off a seafood, garlic, and parmesan risotto last night with bay scallops, black mussels, and Gulf Coast shrimp. Thanks both to our friends for the shrimp, and the fantastic Quality Seafood of Austin for mussels and scallops. When I picked out one bag of frozen scallops, the manager checking me out refused to sell them to me because he felt they were slightly freezer-burned!

This risotto definitely took an hour since I stirred through the whole process, but was well worth it. Stirring throughout the cooking process of risotto releases the starch on the rice and creates the creamy texture. It's also a good arm workout.

Ingredients:
2 cups Arborio rice
4-5 cups seafood stock (i used half stock, half sauvignon blanc) at a simmer
10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined*
1 lb mussels
1 cup bay scallops
3/4 cup grated parmesan
1.5 tsp salt
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 shallot diced
1/4 cup butter

Saute the garlic and onions (add the salt too) in all the butter, then at a low temp pour in the rice and saute the rice as well for a few minutes. I don't know why we do this but we do.
A 1/2 cup at a time, add the stock/wine and stir until the rice absorbs it. Keep the rice at a simmer or lower. Once you've reached the point of the last cup of stock, add your scallops and shrimp with the stock and this will allow them to cook. Meanwhile, use the remaining stock to dump the mussels in, cover and steam 10-15 minutes.
If you taste the rice after the 4th cup, it may still have a little bite. You can still use the remaining stock (with mussel juice-YUM!) to cook it a little longer. When you bite into it and it tastes like soft rice with a tiny bit of chewiness, it's done. Fold in the cheese and the vinegar, stir and serve.

I recommend a small plate, and I arranged the steamed mussels around the edge of the plate.

This was a very simple, yummy risotto. In retrospect I would also perhaps use lemon juice in place of vinegar, and fresh parsley chopped and stirred in at the end.

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