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Seafood Risotto

Risotto calls for a very starchy Italian rice—arborio--that absorbs a great deal of water, and so can be cooked in a flavourful broth to make a delicious creamy entré.  Plan to have several times the amount of water as rice; any leftover broth can be used to reheat leftovers.  If you do run out of broth, water can be substituted in a pinch. If using fresh herbs, increase amounts to taste.

Mushrooms or asparagus can be substituted for the seafood if desired.

Seafood Risotto cooking ...

1 cup Arborio rice

4 tbls olive oil

¼ cup dry white wine

4-5 cups chicken broth

¼ cup sweet onion, finely minced

½ cup red bell pepper, finely diced

½ tsp sea salt

1 tbls vanilla extract

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

1 cup seafood, fresh or frozen (shrimp and scallops)

juice from a wedge of lemon

1 tsp cracked peppercorns

1/8 tsp tarragon

¼ tsp basil

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp oregano

1 tsp rosemary

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

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Heat broth in medium saucepan with a ladle.  Heat olive oil on medium heat in large shallow pan with lid.

 

If using frozen seafood, defrost; sprinkle shrimp and scallops with lemon juice and herbs.  Set aside.

 

Sauté minced onion in olive oil until transparent.  Add Arborio rice to pan and stir until well coated.  Add white wine and stir until absorbed.  Add a few ladles full of broth and stir, adjusting heat to simmer just below the boiling point.

Stir rice slowly, adding more broth gradually as it is absorbed.  When you notice that the rice is not absorbing the liquid as quickly, test for texture from time to time as you continue to add broth and stir.  When there is barely a noticeable kernel in the centre of the rice, add the seafood with herbs and liquid, bell pepper, vanilla extract, pine nuts, and parmesan, stirring to mix completely.  Cover with lid and reduce heat to minimum.  When remaining liquid is absorbed—roughly 10 minutes--risotto is ready to serve.

Seafood Risotto

Serve with the same white wine used in the recipe and bread or rolls with butter.  Makes several servings.

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