Shrimp Risotto, Part One

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NO, this is not going to be a post extolling the virtues of a pressure cooker…

Okay, I’m lying.

But it is also going to be a shout singing the praises of risotto!

See, before a couple of days ago,  I had never experienced the creamy bowl of heaven that is risotto (done correctly, of course). And I got royally ribbed by a couple of my off-line followers for waiting so long before having it – much less posting about it. BUT…they never told me how much fun it is to make with fresh (super fresh) shrimp stock! And what’s the best way to get shrimp stock quickly? Using a pressure cooker, of course! (Note: if you don’t have a pressure cooker in your life, do yourself a favor and get one. You’ll thank me later, I promise.)

For the shrimp stock, I shelled 3 pounds of Argentine red shrimp. I chose this particular breed due to its size (which meant sizable shells to boil out the shrimp essence – yes!) and meaty texture, that would stand up to a quick brining. So, the shrimp stock ingredients included:

  • Shells, legs and tails from 3 pounds of shrimp as described;
  • 12 fl. oz of Chardonnay;
  • 4 lemons, quartered
  • One large bell pepper, roughly diced;
  • One large sweet onion, roughly diced;
  • 20 cups  (160 fl. oz) of water;
  • 1/4 cup  (2 oz) sea salt;
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) sugar
  • Olive oil, as needed…


  1. Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker until shimmering, almost sizzling;
  2. Saute the pepper and onion, stirring gently, until translucent and fragrant;
  3. Add the shrimp shells and saute until gently browned, releasing the flavor;
  4. Place all other ingredients into the pressure cooker and bring to a gentle boil;
  5. Seal the pressure cooker and bring to pressure according to manufacturer directions;
  6. Allow the stock to cook under pressure for 15-20 minutes, and then quickly cool by placing the pressure cooker in a sink full of chilled water;
  7. Once the stock has cooled, strain the liquid into a bowl using a sieve lined with cheesecloth.

Yields 12 cups of super-concentrated stock that you can freeze for later usage. But, for the sake of this conversation, extract about 6 cups of stock for our fabulous risotto, which is coming up in the next post!

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