Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Baked Shrimp Risotto

The March 2015 issue of Food & Wine Magazine has a very enticing-looking shrimp risotto recipe that I thought I'd try here in the Canteen a few weeks ago. Usually when you make risotto, you're sentenced to a good hour of near constant stirring in order to get the arborio rice grains to properly absorb the cooking liquid; however, this particular method cheats a little by using the oven to bake the risotto instead. Basically, all you do is toast the rice in some garlic and olive oil, add your chicken broth, and bake for 20 minutes until done. Since this recipe is so simple, the key is to source top-shelf ingredients - for example, I bought freshly-caught Gulf shrimp from our local neighborhood seafood van (they operate a stand at the weekend flea market in Oldsmar) and whipped up a batch of our house pesto sauce (which would make even old leather shoes taste delicious) to drizzle on at the end. Instead of parmigiano reggiano cheese, I substituted pecorino romano since that's what I had on hand; otherwise, I tried to stay faithful to the instructions. How'd we do? Well, the wife was happy ("you can serve this as a side dish anytime, even without the shrimp" she said) and the kids even ate a couple of bites before bowing out, so this shorthand risotto will be added to my repertoire for future use (although I still plan to do the ol' stovetop risotto when I can - I think it's a wee bit better)...

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