Shrimp Risotto

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Shrimp Risotto

provided by Jim Gordon
Risotto (pronounced rih-ZOH-toe) is a classic Northern Italian dish based on arborio rice. It can be made hundreds of different ways. The Italians often serve it as a starter course, but this one incorporates lots of shrimp so it makes a great main course. The slow-cooking method and the use of lots of broth help make it very rich and satisfying, while it remains rather light in fat.

4-1/2 cups (36 oz.) broth, made of 3-1/2 cups (28 oz.) canned low-salt chicken broth mixed with 1 cup (8 oz.) clam juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons butter; 2 to be used first, and 1 for later
1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 of a large onion, minced (chopped as tiny as possible)
2 cloves garlic, tips and skin removed, finely minced
1-1/2 cups arborio rice (no substitutions, please)
8 oz. medium-sized shrimp (about 30 pieces) with shells and veins removed (If frozen, thaw first. It works with pre-cooked and frozen shrimp, too.)
1/2 cup peas, either fresh from the pod or frozen ones that have been defrosted but uncooked

Heat the broth in a sauce pan on top of the stove until it’s almost boiling, then turn the heat to low to keep it simmering.

Put a large, heavy pot on medium heat on the stove top. Add the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. When melted, add the garlic and onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent but not to brown.

Pour the arborio rice into the large pot with the onions and stir it gently with a spoon for a minute to get all the grains coated with the oil and butter. Pour in the wine and keep stirring until it soaks completely into the rice. Take half the simmering broth and add it to the rice. (Most recipes make you swear to add it only 1/2 cup at a time, but this isn’t necessary.) Keep the burner on medium heat and stir frequently as the broth cooks away, being careful not to let it stick to the bottom or burn.

After about 10 minutes, when the broth is mostly absorbed, add the rest of the broth and continue to cook. Stir frequently.

After about 12 more minutes, or when the rice begins to thicken again, add the shrimp and peas. Cook for a final 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp (if raw) turn white all the way through. Switch off the burner and add the Parmesan cheese and remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir thoroughly until the butter is melted and serve immediately in your best soup bowls. Add freshly ground black pepper if you like.

Serves two to four.

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