Monday, January 19, 2009


I'd never really made risotto until the other day when I didn't have much in the house for dinner but I did have a box of Trader Joe's Aborio Rice which I'd never opened along with a bag of frozen cooked shrimp so I thought, this could make a good meal along with the salad I just whipped up. The results: amazing, one of the best things I'd ever made and surprisingly it's naturally low in fat and calories. It's naturally creamy because of the starch in the rice, but you don't actually add any cream to it and in my opinion you can leave out the butter and cheese which is traditionally added at the end, especially if making with seafood. I flavored my risotto with the juice from half a lemon, so it was pretty lemony and very good, but it tasted amazing even before I added the lemon. So, I think you can really take the basic recipe and modify the flavors in lots of different ways by trying different broths/stocks, wines, veggies, etc.

Lemon Shrimp Risotto
Makes 4, entree-sized servings
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

  • 2 big or 3 small garlic cloves, crushed or grated

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red, yellow, or orange bell pepper

  • 8 green olives with pimentos, finely chopped

  • 1 cup Aborio rice (or even better rices are supposed to be Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)

  • 2 cups hot chicken broth (if using stock, will need to salt/season more)

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads

  • 1 lb cooked shrimp, tails off, frozen OK

  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest (separate)

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium/high heat until hot. Add the butter and swirl and melt.

  2. Add the onions and peppers, cook two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and olives, cook two minutes more.

  3. Add rice while stirring, cook 2-3 minutes stirring constantly until rice starts to brown.

  4. Stir in the wine 1/4 cup at a time.

  5. Add the saffron.

  6. Stir in the broth 1/4 cup at a time with a minute or so between each addition. Keep stirring constantly.

  7. When liquid comes to a boil, turn to very low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and there is just enough liquid left (should be a thick sauce, but not soupy). When done, stir in the lemon juice and add white pepper to taste (broth and olives have the salt).

  8. While rice is cooking, heat up the shrimp with the lemon zest in a pan.

  9. Serve rice with warm shrimp!


Juliet said...

Looks great. Welcome back!