For New Year’s Eve, after a whirlwind 3 weeks out of town, the hubs and I decided to stay in and cook one of our favorites, Shrimp Risotto. Creamy, sweet, savory, garlicky…this recipe hits all of the right notes and will keep you coming back for more (pretty much until you finish the pot).
For years we actually kept things basic and used store-bought seafood stock, but on a whim a few months back, I made homemade shrimpy stock and we’ve never looked back. So for me, this recipe starts either the day before or weeks or months before, when I make the homemade shrimpy stock and either use it fresh or freeze it for future use (but let’s be real, it never makes it to the freezer).
Katie’s Extra Shrimpy Stock:
Whole Shells from 1 lb. of Shrimp 2 Carrots, cut into thirds 3 Celery Stalks, cut into thirds 1 large Onion, quartered 1/2 Bunch of Parsley Kosher Salt
Pour a bit of olive oil (2 tbsp.) into the bottom of a large heavy bottomed pan (I use a 5.5 qt. dutch oven). When the oil is hot, add the shrimp shells and let them cook for about 5 minutes, turning pink in color and becoming aromatic. Add in your carrots, celery, onion and parsley, and cover everything with cold water until it fills the pot. Season with a bit of salt. Bring the stock to a boil, uncovered, and then slightly cover and simmer for 90 minutes, skimming the surface as needed. When the stock is finished, let it cool slightly, then poor through a sieve, and voila, shrimpy stock.
Once you’ve got your stock preference decided and either made or bought, along with all of your other ingredients (here is the recipe by the way), it’s time to get cooking. Now remember, risotto takes time, needs to be watched over a bit, and is best enjoyed à la minute. That might sound a bit tedious or time consuming, but…it is really quite fun. Just open yourself a bottle of wine, pour a glass and get stirring!
Like any good recipe, you start with melted butter. And for me, I always like to be a little generous with my measurements when it comes to butter (and wine).
Next up, add your chopped shallots, a good sprinkle of Kosher salt and as much fresh cracked pepper as is to your liking. Let your shallots cook down and get buttery, soft and ready for the rice.
Once your shallots are all good and happy, toss in your rice and let it get toasty and bathe in the butter for another couple of minutes.
Now is the fun (tedious) part…this is when you really want to roll up your sleeves, enlist your husbands help, and pour yourself a glass of wine to enjoy while you watch him work. This is the real meat and potatoes of the recipe, but also completely simple (perfect for your hubby). All you have to do is add some stock and stir it in until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, then rinse and repeat.
Stock, stir, stock, stir. Completely simple. But be warned, things can get really steamy during this part, so if you are a contact-wearing cook, don’t switch into your glasses just yet or you might not be able to see what you are doing. On the other hand, if you have been interested in the newly fashionable seafood steam facial, then you are in luck.
Once all of your stock has been absorbed, you add your deliciously creamy and velvety shrimp cream to the pot and let that cook in for a couple of minutes. Be sure to keep a close watch here, because the risotto can really start bubbling.
Once your shrimp cream is incorporated, you pull the whole pot off of the heat, add your cheese, more butter (of course), and herbs – then give the pot one last good stir and fight over who gets to lick the spoon first.
Truly perfection in a bowl. Either just eat the risotto itself, or top it with some additional garlicky shrimpy boys (technical term) and you have found yourself in risotto heaven. Yes, I have tried many other risotto recipes over the years, but none have ever come close to the complete divinity that is Shrimp Risotto.