Thursday, August 20, 2009

Anniversary Risotto: A True Labor of love

Today was our four year wedding anniversary. Instead of going out, I decided to cook something special. I decided to be daring, to make something I had never made before. After discarding a few ideas, I landed on risotto. To be totally honest, I was completely nervous, having heard that risotto can be difficult to make. I was nervous, but determined. I chopped and measured perfectly, my knees knocking the entire time. I had flashes of Gordon Ramsey popping out of nowhere yelling, "You scorched the risotto, you stupid cow! You donkey!" I stirred my little heart out to keep it from scorching. After about an hour, an achy back from standing and chopping, and a cut knuckle, the risotto was finished. It was well worth the effort. I have honestly never had such tasty risotto. Granted, I have only eaten it twice, but this was amazing. I think I was mostly shocked because it turned out so well the first time I made it.
Spring Risotto(from with Shrimp
3 TBSP of olive oil
3 TBSP of Butter
1/2 TSP of Fennel Seeds
1 small red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic minced or 3/4 TBSP of garlic powder
2 TSP of grated lemon zest
3 TBSP of parsley
2 TBSP of rosemary
1/2 TSP ground coriander
1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice
1/2 cup of dry white wine
3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
14-15 medium sized, cooked shrimp
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat oil and butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add in fennel,red pepper, onion and garlic. In a small bowl, mix together lemon zest,parsley and rosemary. Stir half of this mixture in the pan. Set aside the rest. Saute veggies until slightly softened(3-4 minutes).
Stir in rice and coriander, Cook stirring frequently, until rice is thoroughly covered with oil and butter. Stir in 1 cup of veggie broth. Continue to stir and ladle more broth as needed. Rice should have a thin veil of broth over it at all times. Add 14-15 medium sized, cooked shrimp to the pan and stir in. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until all broth is absorbed and rice is tender.
Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining herb mixture, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover pan loosely with waxed paper and allow to stand 8- 10 minutes before serving.

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