Last week I shared a recipe for making shellfish stock from leftover prawn shells with you. This week I am using that stock to make a pretty bomb ass seafood risotto.
I used prawns for my first batch, which leaves you with more heads, which equals more stock, which equals more risotto. But you can also use the stock to make a risotto with plane old fish, like I did for my second batch, or mussels, lobster, whatever you fancy in the seafood department.
I like to add green veggies to mine, like frozen or fresh peas or some grilled asparagus. But you do you.
A lot of people think Parmesan or some kind of cheese is essential to making your risotto nice and gooey, but if you’ve stirred your risotto well enough and in doing so have released plenty of starches from the rice, you should end up with a gooey, unctuous risotto either way.
Versatile Seafood Risotto
- 500 ml shellfish stock see top of this page for link to details
- 100 gr Arborio rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- dab unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 shallots finely chopped, 1/2 an onion will also do
- salt to taste
- white pepper freshly ground to taste
- seafood of choice about 150 grams per head should do the trick
- 1 c fresh or frozen peas optional
- bunch asparagus grilled or oven baked in some olive oil, salt and pepper, optional
- 1 c Parmesan cheese freshly grated, optional
- Melt and gently preheat your stock if it’s cold or coming from the freezer. Be sure to keep it next to the pan you are cooking your risotto in, with a good sized ladle for easy transfer.
- In a heavy based saucepan, melt the butter and heat the olive oil together over a medium low heat.
- Add the garlic and shallots or onion and saute gently until they’ve become transparent, but avoid getting any color on them as this will make the garlic bitter.
- Now add the rice and stir continuously for 5 minutes or so, coating the rice in the fats until they also get a transparent sheen to them. Skipping this step may result in your rice not taking up enough of the liquids to cook in time, so be sure to do this or you’ll be very upset later.
- Once 5 minutes of vigorous stirring have passed, add your first ladle of stock to the rice. Stir vigorously until all the liquid has either been absorbed by the rice or evaporated into thin air.
- Add your second ladle, stir until absorbed. And so on and so forth, until roughly 20 minutes have passed and all your stock has been absorbed by the rice.
- When to add your seafood will depend on the kind of seafood you’re using. Precooked prawns, mussels and the like can be added at the very last minute, just to heat them through. Frozen fish should be thawed and flaked before use and can also be added in at the last minute. Anything bigger you will probably want to pre-cook and serve it separately so you have a better handle on whether it’s cooked through or not.
- In the final 2 to 3 minutes add your peas and ¾ cup of parmesan, if using.
- Season to taste before serving. There is a lot of salt in the stock already, so it may not need any more. Pepper however is always a good idea. Top with the asparagus and more Parmesan if using.