Friday, March 14, 2014

Recipe: Paella Risotto

I'm a sucker for a good risotto, and they are often screwed up. The texture can be hard to nail perfectly. So, we've only attempted it once at home. When "R" and I saw a recipe for Paella Risotto in the recent April 2014 issue of Cuisine at Home Magazine, it was time to try it at home again.

Paella Risotto with shrimp and chorizo (Makes 4 servings- 6 cups; Total Time = 50 minutes)

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp. kosher salt
minced zest of 1 lemon
pinch of saffron (15-20 threads)

4 oz. stick Spanish chorizo, peeled and sliced

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup diced white onion
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 cup dry arborio rice

Stir In:
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 jar pimentos, drained (4 oz.)
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
minced fresh parsley

Simmer broth, wine, bay leaf, salt, zest, and saffron in a saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, 5 minutes, discard bay leaf.
Cook chorizo in a large skillet over medium-low heat on both sides until crisp; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Discard drippings and wipe out skillet.
Heat oil in same skillet over medium.
Add onions and garlic and cook until onions soften, 3 minutes.
Add rice and stir with a wooden spoon to coat with oil, 1 minute.
Add 1/2 cup broth, stirring until liquid is absorbed.
Continue adding broth in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly, until each addition is absorbed before adding the next, 35-45 minutes total.
Stir in shrimp and cook until opaque, 2-3 minutes.
Stir in pimentos, peas, and chorizo.
Garnish each serving with parsley, and serve.
We also squeezed a bit of fresh lemon juice over top of the risotto once plated.

The texture was creamy, and the flavors of chicken broth and lemon really stood out. Personally, I would have preferred a bit more heat. The chorizo was very spicy on its own, but got a little lost once added in. We'd "doctor" it a little to fit our taste next time, but overall I enjoyed it and it made for some great leftovers the next day too.

Risotto can be time-consuming and tricky to get the texture just right. Have you tried it at home before?