Scallops and Risotto

Attention! Attention! After two years of blogging and two hundred posts we finally did it! We made a risotto! It's something we've always aspired to do but never quite followed through. Natalie and Richard both shared a risotto with us during secret ingredient potluck and fall themed potluck so we knew we could do it. We got even more motivation from Sara Foster's Fresh Every Day cookbook which coincidentally spurred us to try red snapper. You can find her basic risotto recipe here. In her cookbook she has the basic risotto recipe and four different variations for the seasons. If you follow the link above, the site also features her variation for winter: wild mushroom and spinach risotto. I'm sure we will be trying this sometime soon but since we had some frozen corn we needed to use in the freezer we skipped ahead and tried the summer Risotto with Summer Corn and Tomatoes.

Basic Risotto from Sara Foster's Fresh Every Day cookbook (online here)
Serves 4 to 6

4 to 5 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil, or more if necessary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups Arborio or carnaroli rice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
Seasonal Vegetables (for our variation we needed tomatoes, corn, and basil and for fun we added seared scallops)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

1. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet and reduce the heat to medium. When the butter is melted, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more, being careful not to let it brown. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the rice slides around easily in the pan and each grain of rice is coated with the oil-butter. Add a splash more olive oil if the pan seems too dry and season with salt and pepper.

3. Stir in the white wine and cook until it evaporates. Stir in 1/2 cup of the warm chicken broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs all of the broth. When you hear the rice begin to sizzle in the pan, add another 1/2 cup of broth. Continue cooking the rice this way, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time and waiting until the broth is absorbed and the rice sizzles before adding more, and stirring constantly, until the rice is tender and creamy but not mushy. The process will take 20 to 25 minutes. You may not need the entire 5 cups of broth.

4. When the rice is tender and creamy, stir in the cooked vegetables along with any liquid they have released. Add any remaining uncooked vegetables and fresh herbs and cook until the vegetables are warmed through, about 4 minutes. 

Add a little more broth until the risotto reaches the desired consistency. Stir in half of the Parmesan. Taste for salt and pepper and season with more if necessary. Transfer the risotto to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.

While the risotto finishes, sear scallops.

For Risotto with Summer Corn and Tomatoes
Sara writes "If I can't find good tomatoes, or I want a deeper, smokier flavor, I roast the tomatoes before adding them to the risotto." We did this and, in fact, followed her balsamic-roasted recipe.

In addition to the basic risotto, you will need: 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 large tomatoes, cored and chopped (we roasted 3 sliced roma tomatoes), kernels from 2 ears of corn, 6 basil leaves cut into strips (we used our frozen basil and it was perfect)

The vegetables for this are not cooked. Saute the onions and garlic for the risotto with an additional tablespoon of butter and oil in step 2. Add the raw (or roasted) tomatoes, corn, and basil to the risotto in step 4 and proceed with the recipe.

Serve the seared scallops right on top of the risotto with some fresh parmesan.

1 comment:

  1. everything you do with scallops sounds good to me!