06 January 2009

Creamy Corn & Shrimp Risotto

It's been quite some time since I made risotto, despite it being one of my favorite comfort foods. Tonight, I was definitely in the mood for some major comforting. Even though my menu plan read "Cream of Broccoli Soup" for tonight, I had to switch it up to make myself happy. I still made the soup, which Andrew ate for dinner, so now I have tons of leftovers!

Creamy Corn & Shrimp Risotto

1-1/4 c arborio rice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
4 c chicken stock
3/4 bag frozen corn (equals about 12 ounces)
1/2 c. cream (I used fat-free Half & Half)
12+ cooked cocktail shrimp, peeled and cut into thirds
fresh parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add chopped onions and cook until they begin to soften. Stir in garlic and butter. Salt onions and garlic and allow to cook until onions are translucent. Add rice to the pot and stir to coat in oil and butter. Toast approximately five minutes prior to adding any liquid - this really brings out the flavor of the rice.
In the meantime, bring 4 cups of chicken stock to a simmer on another burner:

I set my stove up as above, with the chicken stock behind the rice pot. Off to the right, I put my spoon rest. I use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to move stock from the back pot to the front, then set it on the spoon rest when I'm not using it.

Begin by ladling 1/2 cup of chicken stock into the rice. Stir the mixture, then allow the rice to absorb the liquid before ladling in the next 1/2 cup. If you have a good white wine on hand, feel free to substiute one cup of white wine for the first cup of chicken stock. The rice will absorb the wine and take on a more intense flavor.

When you have about a cup of stock left, stir in the frozen corn with the final cup of liquid. Once this round is fully absorbed, stir in cream and shrimp. Salt & pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley.

This risotto came out soooo good. The rice was creamy, the corn was crunchy and delicious, the shrimp were perfectly cooked, and the parsley added a beautiful bright freshness to my bowl. I would definitely make this again. The only bummer was that I didn't have more shrimp! Risotto can easily become a main course when you add meat and vegetables to it, so don't be afraid to experiment.

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