BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
Prep Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Comment: For those who have not eaten risotto, it is one of Italy’s best-known rice dishes. Arborio rice, the round, short-grain Italian rice of the Po Valley, is essential for the success of the dish. The high starch rice kernels give risotto its characteristic creamy texture. Arborio is available at most specialty stores.
2 (1¼-pound) lobsters, cooked and meat diced
1 cup frozen early June peas
2 cups Arborio rice
2 quarts hot shellfish stock
1 tsp saffron threads
2 tbsps unsalted butter
¼ cup olive oil
½ cups minced red onions
¼ cup minced celery
¼ cup minced yellow bell pepper
¼ cup minced red bell pepper
2 tbsps minced garlic
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ cup chopped tarragon
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Place shellfish stock in a saucepot and keep over low heat, do not boil or simmer.
Place saffron thread in a coffee cup, microwave on high for 30 seconds. Top with ½ cup hot shellfish stock, cover with clean wrap, and set aside to infuse flavor.
In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan or saucepot, heat butter in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, and minced garlic and sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted.
Add rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring well into vegetable mixture to coat each grain well with oil and seasonings.
Add sherry and tarragon and stir to incorporate. Pour saffron-infused liquid including threads into rice, then add remaining hot stock, one ladle at time, stirring constantly until all liquid is absorbed before each addition. Continue until all is incorporated. Additional stock may be needed to achieve doneness.
As stock is added, a creamy consistency will appear as rice tenderizes. Rice should be tender and fully cooked, yet not mushy.
Season to taste using salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley, then add lobster and frozen peas. NOTE: You may wish to use crowder peas or black-eyed peas instead of early June peas.
Stir to mix well until lobsters are warm and peas are thawed, 3–5 minutes. A small amount of hot stock may be needed to retain consistency. Serve immediately.