Lemony Shrimp Risotto

I love it when I make something delicious from things I have in the pantry/fridge/freezer already.

So, last night, the Hubbster and I had no idea what we wanted for dinner. We started naming off proteins and settled on shrimp. But my usual recipes involve cream, and we didn’t have cream. So I was like what about risotto? And he said cool! I took a peek at Williams Sonoma and found this recipe, which looks delicious. But I didn’t have several things that it called for, and decided to just wing it. So I went and started defrosting the shrimp (we keep a bag of uncooked, peeled and de-veined shrimp in the freezer. It’s just so easy to make) and hunted in the fridge to see what else I could throw in there that would be yummy. The result was quite heavenly. I didn’t photograph the process, but as you can see, the result looks quite appetizing. So I decided to throw the recipe up on here and share it with the world. If you’ve never made risotto before, don’t be afraid. As long as you keep an eye on it and are willing to devote an hour, it really isn’t as difficult as it seems on the Food Network. I also was very detailed in my directions since I don’t have pictures, so don’t be scared by how long it is. Here goes, and feel free to tweak it yourself! Experimenting is fun!! 🙂

Jenny’s Lemony Shrimp Risotto

What you’ll need:

2-3 cups of uncooked, peeled and de-veined shrimp
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 large cloves of garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
3-5 cups chicken broth
1 large lemon (juiced and zested)
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 handful parsley, chopped (about 2 tbsp)
salt & pepper
1 large, flat-bottom saute pan, like this one, or that one. Really, just a big pan. I used the same one I cooked my chicken & broccoli pasta in. I looked online, but they don’t have it at Macy’s anymore. Sad 😦
Cutting board (to chop on)
Chef’s knife (to chop with)
Spatula (to stir with)
Measuring cup (to, you guessed it, measure with. And to measure/pour the chicken broth additions)
Lemon zester (or any kind of grater will do)
What to do:
1. Defrost your shrimp. I’m assuming you are lazy like me and don’t have fresh shrimp on hand. Don’t worry, the frozen works just fine. I like to toss it in a collander and run cold water over them until they are thawed. Then pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
2. Mince your garlic with your chef’s knife on your cutting board. Or however you like to mince garlic. Chop your parsley and set aside. Juice and zest your lemon, and set each of these aside as well.
3. Put your big pan on the stove top and turn the heat on medium-high. Put in about 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Let it melt and swirl it around the pan, waiting a minute or two for it to get hot.
4. Throw your garlic into the pan and let it brown. Don’t burn it! (Actually, if you burn it it will still taste good. I burned mine last night because I turned the burner on before I minced my garlic and the pan got too hot. So don’t fret over burned garlic).
5. Dump your shrimp into the pan with the garlic, olive oil and butter, and push them around so that each one is touching the surface of the pan. They will only take a few minutes to cook, so watch them. Flip them over after a minute or two so both sides get color. When they are all pink and shrimp-like, transfer them to a plate while you make the risotto.
6. The shrimp will take a lot of the butter and olive oil with it, so add another tbsp of olive oil and tbsp of butter to the pan. Turn the heat down a smidge (so it’s more medium than high).
Now comes the risotto portion of our evening. I promise, it’s not as hard as it seems!
7. Take a measuring cup with a spout, and pour in 1 cup arborio rice. You are going to use this for the chicken broth too, so make sure you use a big measuring cup like this kind.
8. When the butter and olive oil have heated up, pour the rice into the pan and stir so it soaks up the butter/olive oil combo. Meanwhile, have someone pour 1 cup of dry white whine (like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, not Riesling or anything sweet) into the measuring cup. Have them pour you a glass, too. You’re cooking, you deserve a glass of wine.
9. Pour the wine (the wine in the measuring cup, not your glass) into the pan with the rice, and stir.
10. Next comes the slow process of adding liquid to the rice. You are going to add one cup at a time until the rice is done. After liquid is added, you want to be watching it and stirring it so it absorbs evenly. You don’t have to be constantly stirring it–you can leave it for a minute or two, no harm no foul. But the more stirring, the more evenly it will cook. Once the liquid has been absorbed, it is time to add the new addition. So here are the steps you will be repeating:
1) Measure out 1 cup of broth
2) Heat up the broth in the microwave (about 30 seconds)
3) Pour into the risotto and stir until absorbed
Keep the heat at a level where the risotto is simmering (i.e. just shy of boiling–a few bubbles should be forming when you aren’t stirring it, but not a lot).
11. In the second or third broth addition, add the juice from the lemon along with the broth (if you want to use bottled lemon juice, feel free. It should be no more than 1/4 cup).
12. Repeat these steps with the chicken broth until the risotto is done. It should be about 3-5 cups. Before each new addition, I like to grab a few grains and eat them to check on the progress. They should be puffy and soft, but still have a little bite to them. Al dente, like pasta. It should also still have a slight amount of liquid around it.
You’re almost done! You can do it!
13. Turn the heat down to low.
14. Add the parsley, lemon zest, and some salt and pepper to the risotto and stir.
15. Add the parmesan cheese. I added a pretty big handful (plus a little more), and I think it was about 1/3 of a cup. Stir the cheese in until it melts into the risotto.
16. Add in the shrimp and stir in with the risotto. Let the shrimp heat through for a few minutes and meld with all the other flavors.
Congratulations, you have just made shrimp risotto! Now put it in a bowl and chow down 🙂

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