This week I'm working from Alfred Portale's (Gotham Bar and Grill's Acclaimed Chef) Simple Pleasures a cookbook that I picked up from the library. I chose it, along with 3 other books, in a matter of minutes as a friend of mine was playing with the little one downstairs. This method of simply ripping down a few cookbooks without much time to ponder has been mostly hit and miss. Lately I seem to have been missing a lot. However, this one seems interesting with it's colorful pictures and stripped down recipes. Yesterday I chose two or three recipes that I wanted to try and went out to gather ingredients. This risotto was my first choice and it sure is a keeper.
It turned out so good that I thought I would submit it to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Tomato. This weekly event features recipes containing vegetables and herbs as the focus and this dish fits the bill. The leeks are spotlighted in this wonderful risotto and the opportunity to use a variety of herbs such as parsley, chervil, and basil make it fun to prepare. The leeks in this dish lend a delicate onion flavor. They also have a nice texture and proved to be a great way to sneak in a veggie (not that I really need to "sneak" them in)for my 13 month old who isn't yet able to handle bold flavors.
Shrimp Risotto with Sweet Peas and Leeks
adapted from Simple Pleasures
2 quarts Chicken Stock
Coarse salt to taste
1 cup frozen peas - fresh when in season
4 small leeks, white and green parts only, thickly slices, rinsed, and drained
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 t finely chopped garlic
1 t coriander
2 cups Risotto Rice-Canaroli or Arborio
1/2 cup dry white wine
12 to 14 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped chervil - I replaced this with basil (a suggested variation)
4 t fresh lemon juice (I omitted this for person preference.)
Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Keep the stock at a low simmer.
While the stock is heating, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Add the peas to the boiling water and blanch them for 1 to 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the ice water to stop the cooking and set their color.
Add the leeks to the boiling water and cook until tender, 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the leeks to the ice water. Drain the vegetables and set them aside.
Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and coriander, and cook for another minute. Add the rice and saute until coated. Add the wine and cook, stirring until it is almost completely absorbed, 3 minutes.
Add about 1 cup of simmering stock to the rice. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring often, until the stock is almost completely absorbed. Gradually add more stock, a cup at a time, stirring gently until it is absorbed by the rice before adding the next cup. After about 15 minutes taste the rice which should be firm yet cooked through. It should take a total of 18-20 minutes total.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan set over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add them to the pan, and saute until firm and pink, about 3 minutes.
Add the peas, leeks, and shrimp to the risotto. Stir in the butter and cream. Stir in the lemon juice, parsley, and chervil. Season to taste.
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