Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lemony Shrimp Risotto

There are two problems I sometimes face when sitting down to write a blog post. The first is a lack of recipes to share, or a lack of a photograph to go with a new recipe. I just feel that I can't share a recipe without some sort of visual aid. I think it makes the post more inviting and hopefully encourages people to make something new. The other problem I face is writer's block. I just simply cannot get myself to write anything, even if I have a ton of new recipes to share. It's not that I don't want to share them - because I definitely do - but I can't seem to figure out how to do so. This past week has been one of those times. I have several recipes, with photos, that I want to share with you, but I've been unable to put anything into writing. It's not like I usually have anything particularly profound to say, but I try to have some sort of story to go along with the food. I could just write out a recipe, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who never actually read food blogs, they just scroll down to the recipe (yes, I too am guilty of this on occasion). But for those people who do want to read something, I like to oblige. So when I have nothing to say, I end up not posting for awhile.

So instead of trying to come up with something clever for today's post, I decided to simply share with you my dilemma. I'm sure anyone who's ever written anything - a journal, a school paper, a book - has experienced some sort of writer's block, so hopefully you can forgive my lack of recent posts. I will do my best to overcome this block and share with you some new recipes. This first one is pretty simple, despite the sometimes scary thought of making risotto. Yes, I do recommend stirring it as much as possible while it cooks. But don't worry if you have to step away for a minute to do something else. Just make sure there's always plenty of liquid in the pot so that the rice doesn't dry out or potentially burn. The lemon zest and juice add a great brightness to this dish while the creaminess of the risotto makes it luxurious and comforting. This is definitely a dish that can transfer from winter to spring with no problem. To make it even more spring-like, stir in some sliced asparagus spears a minute or two before adding the shrimp and you've got a fresh dish, all in one pan.

Lemony Shrimp Risotto (serves 2, with leftovers)

  • 4-5 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or combination of stock and water)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6-8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 tsp lemon zest & 2 tbsp juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
In a small saucepan, heat chicken stock over medium-low heat.
In a large pan, preferably with straight sides, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Saute chopped onions until soft, about 8 minutes.
Add mushrooms and saute until soft and lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
Season with garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another minute.
Add rice and cook for another couple of minutes to toast rice.
Add lemon zest and deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up any bits from the bottom.
Once the wine is almost absorbed, add about 3/4 cup of stock.
Stir mixture until stock is almost absorbed and then add more stock, by about 1/2 cup at a time.
Continue stirring and adding stock until rice is tender and creamy, about 18-20 minutes cooking time.
When rice is just about tender, stir in shrimp, cooking until shrimp is fully pink, about 5 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat and stir in chopped tarragon and lemon juice. Add a pinch more salt and pepper, if needed.
Cover pan and let sit for 2 minutes before serving.

For a printable recipe click here

Lemony Shrimp Risotto

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