Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shrimp and Corn Bulgur Risotto

Risotto refers not only to the creamy Italian rice dish we all know and love but also to the method by which it is prepared. Any grain, therefore, can become a risotto when cooked by slowly adding liquid to a pot of grains and stirring constantly. This risotto, made with bulgur as opposed to the traditional arborio rice, will not look exactly like a risotto you might be familiar with but it's still delicious and has a creamy texture and nutty flavor. Bulgur is a whole grain and therefore has more fiber and is more nutritious than white rice. It can be found in most grocery stores and is definitely worth giving a try. This dish has a slightly spicy kick from the crushed red pepper, which balances wonderfully with the sweetness of the shrimp, corn and red peppers. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit.

Shrimp and Corn Bulgur Risotto
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock and/or water (I used a combination)
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 12-16 ounce small/medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 limes
Heat a sauce pot (about 3 qt) over medium heat.
Use enough olive oil to fully coat the bottom of the pan.
Saute the garlic till fragrant but not brown, about one minute.
Add the bulgur and toss to fully coat it in the olive oil.
Season with a pinch of salt (not a lot depending on how salty the stock is).
Meanwhile, bring 2-3 cups stock/water to a simmer in another pan. (The amount needed varies, have extra on hand knowing you might not need it all).
Add the liquid to the bulgur in half cup increments, stirring gently. When the liquid is almost absorbed, add the next half cup.
Continue adding liquid until the bulgur is soft but not mushy (taste it to make sure). This will be about 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the red peppers and the red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute.
Add the shrimp and cook till pink. Continue to add liquid as needed to keep the bulgur slightly soupy.
Stir in the corn and cook till it's warmed through.
Squeeze in the juice of one lime, stirring to combine, and serve with extra lime if desired.
Check the seasoning, adding salt or more lime juice if needed.

Serve the risotto with a side of grilled zucchini. Simple brush zucchini wedges with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place them on a hot grill pan for about 5-7 minutes per side.

For a printable recipe click here.

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