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Jul 9, 2011 10:16 AM

Adjusting Risotto Recipe: Looks Okay?

I found a recipe in the June/July issue of Cook's Country that looks really tasty: Risotto with Garlic Shrimp. Only problem is that the risotto is parcooked in the microwave to speed up the process. I have an issue with cooking something in my microwave for "10 to 16 minutes". Yikes.

So I tried to adjust the procedure to cook it like a normal risotto while keeping the same ingredients, but I don't have a lot of experience. Can someone tell me if this procedure looks okay?

1. Pat peeled shrimp dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Combine the shrimp with olive oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes and marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the shrimp and cook about a minute; transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining shrimp and a little more oil. Reduce heat to medium and add some butter. Add rice and stir for a couple of minutes. Add chicken broth, 1c at a time, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and rice is just tender. Stir in salt. Add the shrimp and cook until heated through, about 2 min. Off heat, add Parmesan cheese and parsley.

I don't have a lot of experience cooking risotto, but the picture on the recipe card looked so tasty. =) I'd welcome suggestions. Also, if anyone has parcooked rice in the microwave like this, and it turned out well, let me know!

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  1. I would not cook the shrimp at all ahead of time, but rather put them in to cook in the risotto at the end--how long depends on the size of your shrimp--so they will not run the risk of being dried out. If the recipe includes browning the shrimp, however, I would do that at the end when the risotto has to rest anyway. (If you want to reinforce the shrimp flavor you can make some shrimp stock using all the shells if you buy them with shells.) I see neither onion nor shallot in the risotto itself, you might want to consider adding a small amount before adding the rice to the butter. Be aware that there will be people posting that you never, never use cheese with fish in Italian dishes--I say we're not in Italy so do what you want.

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      They are large shrimp, but not huge. I don't remember the count per pound, but they're the size one would get with a shrimp cocktail.

      The recipe does include browning the shrimp, but I'm willing to change things up. What if I gave them a quick browning just before adding the risotto, and then leaving them in to cook in the rice? Or would they get overcooked that way? If so, then I'll follow your advice of adding the shrimp towards the end.

      If I were to make a stock of the shells, about how much of the chicken broth would be replaced by the stock?

      I'll probably add some onion to the butter. I thought it was odd that there wasn't any in the recipe. I also thought that risotto usually contained white wine.

      As for the cheese, maybe I'll split the batch at the end and add cheese to only half, to see which I like better.

      Sorry for all the questions, and thanks for the help!

    2. You can't leave the shrimp in the whole time. If you want to do them ahead, just be careful so they don't get overcooked at the end. You could use all shrimp stock if you liked the flavor and strength, but half and half would be safe. As to white wine, I always add that as my first "ladle" of liquid and then stock after that. Just make sure to leave it "wet" at the end and then take it off the stove and let it sit for a few minutes before serving--it's also a great time to add a little more butter!

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        Thank you! I'll follow your advice, especially about the "more butter" part! =)