I am kind of in super mom mode right now after a week of big wins in the dinner department so I decided to cap my week off with something that was sure to make me look like a total superstar. This kid would be happy if I made him a risotto of dog poop and toe nail clippings so I have to be honest about that right upfront. That said, this risotto is waaaay better than rice with dog poop.
There was a big container of baby arugula in the fridge and I was going to buy scallops when I realized that we haven't used shrimp in anything for ages so shrimp, arugula risotto was born. It was delicious, everyone was very happy and I pretended that it was sooooo much work and owww my arm is killing me from the nonstop 20 minutes of stirring and all that cheese grating but they are worth it, yadda yadda yadda.
Oh, one note here - if you can get a decent quality parmigiano reggiano over just any old parmesan, please use that. Risotto is a dish that really benefits from nice cheese and I think it's worth the extra expense to buy a little chunk of the good stuff for it.
Some nights dinner just kind of makes itself.
Risotto with Shrimp and Arugula
3/4 lb raw shrimp, cleaned, deveined and shelled (reserve shells for stock)
extra virgin olive oil
pinch kosher salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small pinch of chili flake (or to taste)
5 cups chicken stock
shrimp shells from the cleaned, deveined shrimp
1/2 piece of celery
glug extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced finely
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tbls cold butter
2 or 3 big handfuls of baby arugula
salt and pepper to taste
pour a glug of olive oil over the shrimps along with a pinch of kosher salt, a clove of chopped garlic and chili flake. Stir it up and set aside.
For the stock, put the chicken stock, shrimp shells, onion trimmings from the half onion you chopped for the risotto and a few chunks of celery. Let it come to a boil, turn down the heat and let it just barely simmer to steep the stock while you get the rest of your stuff together. Just before you start making the risotto, you probably want to strain the broth into another pot or else you will end up with crunch shrimp shell bits in your rice.
Heat a deep braising pan or a big pot over med heat. Add a glug of olive oil and when it's really hot, add the shrimp and saute until just barely cooked (it will have just started to turn pink). Remove the shrimp from the pan/pot, put in a bowl and set aside.
In the same pot/pan, add another glug of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft and just starting to colour. Add the rice and stir that around for a couple of minutes until the rice becomes opaque. Pour in the white wine and continue to stir until the wine is almost totally absorbed into the rice. At this point, you start adding the hot stock, a ladle full at a time, stirring pretty much constantly the whole time. I like to do a lazy figure eight pattern myself.
When each addition stock you add is almost totally absorbed, add another ladle full. Keep this up, stirring the whole time, for about 20 minutes. You will use all the stock. If, for any reason, you run out of stock and the rice seems to still be undercooked, add some more white wine but this amount of stock for this amount of rice is pretty spot on.
Remove the pot/pan from the heat and add the arugula and the shrimp (don't forget to get all the juices that accumulate in the shrimp bowl) and stir well. Now, add the cold butter and the cheese, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted and the cheese is incorporated into the risotto.
NOW you dish it up and serve it.