(this is obviously edited to make it family-friendly)
Cue insta-tears from said Hell’s Kitchen hopeful.
Risotto can be tricky to get right, but truly, unless you’re like a Gordon Ramsey psycho-prodigy in the kitchen, this will be a party in your mouth no matter what.
The key is lotsa stirring. Consider it your bicep’s friend. The Arborio rice has a high starch content, so that when it’s cooked (correctly), it results in a creamy dish without having to add much fat. But fat, we shall add. In the form of cheese. If you must, you may reduce the amount of parmesan cheese you add and it will still be fabulous.
Now if you have an aversion to shrimp, you can sub chicken, or go protein-less. Sometimes I actually prefer a pure risotto. Something about mouthfuls of creamy, cheesy, soft rice without interruption screams bliss at me.
Anyway, for tender, non-rubberized shrimp, you must only cook it for the minimal amount of time. We’re talking several minutes here, and that’s it. This means that as soon as you start to see that those little suckers are opaque and pink, they are done. Remove them from the pan or else you will complain about the shrimp. Complaining should never be in the same sentence with shrimp. That is oxymoronic my friends. I repeat, remove, and set aside.
With risotto, you stir stir stir. Add broth about a cup at a time, and stir until it is absorbed. Then add the next cup. You’ll do this for a total of 7 cups (ish). This is me just adding the cup….
If you have older kids, this is a good punishment, er, activity for them to do. Or bring your laptop to the kitchen counter and catch up on your shows. Or debate politics, religion, or Les Mis with dinner guests.
Either way, you’re bound for some lengthy conversation.
The final risotto should be ‘soupier’ than your normal rice dish. On a plate, it should spread significantly, yet still keep some shape. This (and the rice texture) is how you gauge how much liquid to add, keeping in mind you will be adding cheese (which will thin it out a bit and make it more ‘spreadable’). After the rice is done, slowly add in a little of the freshly-grated parmesan cheese at a time and stir until incorporated. Continue until all of the cheese is mixed in.
Return the shrimp to the pan, and add in the peas. Season with salt to taste, then top with freshly-cracked black pepper and chives.
Take that, Gordon Ramsay.
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 T EVOO
- 1 T butter
- 1 pound jumbo, deveined, uncooked, shell-off shrimp
- 1 pound Arborio rice
- 7-8 c chicken broth, optional to replace 1/2-1 c liquid with white cooking wine
- 2 c parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 1/2 c sweet peas
- chives to top
- Saute the garlic and onion in EVOO and butter over medium heat.
- Add in shrimp, and cook until just barely opaque and light pink.
- Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
- Add rice to sauted garlic and onions, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, and pour in 1 c broth while stirring. Continue to stir until all of the broth is absorbed.
- Add in remaining broth 1 c at a time, ensuring each cup is absorbed before adding the next.
- Rice should be 'al dente'. Slowly mix in cheese a little bit at a time, then peas, and finally shrimp. Heat for 1-2 minutes while stirring until all combined.
- Salt as needed, top with fresh-cracked black pepper and chives.
PRESSURE COOKER: Heat up open pressure cooker so that you can saute garlic and onion in butter and olive oil. Add shrimp, cook just until opaque and pink, only a few minutes. Remove shrimp from pot, set aside. Add rice and 8 c broth. Close lid and lock vent. Set to rice setting and cook 6 minutes, naturally release pressure. Stir rice when finished cooking, then stir in parmesan. Add shrimp and peas, season as desired.