A Faith-Style Welcome Wagon: Shrimp Risotto with Chive Gremolata

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sounds fancy and difficult, no? It's fancy, but with some time and a cold glass of Chardonnay, this dish is easy to whip up on a weeknight. I had a few girls over last week to welcome Meaghan, my new, fabulous next-door neighbor, and Lindsay, a friend I met in boot camp who just moved in around the corner, to the 'hood.

I swear, I'm never moving off this street. I'm surrounded by cool people. It's like a Fun Person Commune right in the heart of Sacramento. Only we shave our armpits and go to work everyday.

Don't be afraid of the fact that this requires making your own stock! Easy as 1-2-3 (or 1-2-4, as Dick Clark might say) (oh, yes I did) and tasty as all get-out.

Shrimp Risotto with Chive Gremolata

adapted from Cuisine at Home

For the Shrimp Stock-
1 lb. medium shrimp (just buy it cooked)
2 cups water
1½ cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped leek greens (tops)
9 black peppercorns
4 fresh parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves

For the Risotto-
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks
1 cup Arborio rice
¾ cup dry sherry
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Separate shrimp meat from tails; set shrimp aside. Place tail shells and remaining stock ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stock for 10 minutes. Strain stock through a colander into a bowl; discard solids. Return stock to saucepan over low heat.

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add leeks; sauté 2 minutes, then stir in rice and sauté 2 minutes. Do not allow rice or leeks to brown.

Deglaze pan with sherry, stirring frequently until liquid evaporates. Add ½ cup at a time until all stock is used and rice is tender, 20-25 minutes.

Stir in the peas and shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 5 minutes. Season risotto with salt, cayenne and nutmeg.

Off heat, add butter and Parmesan. Garnish with Chive Gremolata (see recipe below).

.:. Chive Gremolata .:. - yum. Do not skip this. For that matter, don't ever skip anything with bacon it it, fool.

3 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives
2 Tbsp. minced lemon zest
½ tsp. minced garlic
Salt to taste