So…if you remember the last post, we got quite excited about the prospect of trying risotto for the first time. So much so that we pulled out the pressure cooker to make shrimp stock fresh for the occasion. We were then left with 3 pounds of shrimp awaiting the privilege of being seared for pleasurable consumption. But never fear, we have an answer for that! Brine your shrimp under ice in a mixture of sea salt, sugar, quartered lemons, water and white wine until time to sear. This will guarantee you the plumpest, juiciest shrimp for any recipe for which you choose to use them. Just remember to bury them under ice and cover them in the fridge until time to toss in the pan.
All you need is about 20-30 minutes for that brine, which will give you time to make some creamy goodness called risotto…
Speaking of which…here’s some excitement for you:
Finely dice one large onion and quarter a small box of mushrooms as shown:
You’ll need these to establish taste. Take the mushrooms and saute gently, in a pot with olive oil and butter, to get your flavor base started. Once they are gently browned, remove the mushrooms and replace with the onions. Watch these closely until they brown, and then add to the pot 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice. (Note: it’s GOT to be arborio rice, because it has the necessary starch presence to absorb the shrimp stock – of which we’re about to use a LOT. ) Make sure you stir the rice and onions constantly – and DO. NOT. LEAVE. Because they will burn on you, and you don’t want that.
Once you smell the warm nuttiness of the rice, grab that 6 cups of warm shrimp stock we talked about in the previous post. One cup at a time (and ONLY one cup at a time), gently introduce 5 cups of the stock into the pan and keep stirring until each cup of liquid is absorbed into the rice. It should look fluffy and creamy at the same time at this point. Re-add the mushrooms, and remove from the heat at this point. Take the remaining warm cup of shrimp stock, and add 1/2 cup of heavy cream. The heat should temper the cream so that it doesn’t seize. Add to the risotto. The results are spectacular. Watch it breathe:
And lest you think we forgot about those shrimp – grab a handful of those out of the fridge and towel-dry them before you throw them into the pan for a quick sear. Look at how plump the brine keeps them:
And now, I can say that I had real-live shrimp risotto. It was everything that the readers told me it would be. Creamy, gentle, and almost buttery with the tenderness of the shrimp. Plated: