Is it just me, or does everyone seem to be in a hurry these days? Sometimes, I think in our mad dash to do everything and live life to the fullest, we shortchange ourselves and forget to take the time to relax and enjoy what we're doing.
Risotto is one of those dishes that forces us to slow down and smell the roses. It's easy enough to make, it just requires patience. And a lot of stirring.
The risotto rice cooking process can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of risotto rice you are using. You stir gently, almost constantly, throughout the cooking process, slowly adding liquid as the rice absorbs it.
The stirring not only helps keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, it loosens up starches from the rice which helps create a creamy texture to the risotto. A good risotto is creamy without ever having to add cream!
As the risotto comes close to being done, add the chopped artichoke hearts and some paprika rubbed sautéed shrimp, and it's ready, your patience rewarded. Enjoy!
Artichoke and Shrimp Risotto
If starting with frozen shrimp, thaw by placing in a bowl of cold water with a teaspoon of salt stirred in. Peel and devein once thawed.
We are using artichokes canned in water for this recipe, and we suggest including the artichoke water in with the risotto. Taste the artichoke water first. If it tastes good to you, then include. If not, then don't.
You can also use frozen or fresh cooked artichoke hearts instead of canned. For frozen, you'll need about 8 ounces. For fresh, you'll probably need the hearts from 2 globe artichokes, cooked and finely chopped.
See How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke for instructions on cooking artichokes.
- 12 ounces raw shrimp (26-30 size), about 18 pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cup risotto rice (carnaroli is recommended, but you can also use arborio)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (like a Sauvignon Blanc)
- 8 ounces clam juice
- 1 14-ounce can) artichoke hearts packed in water, drained (reserve the water!), and finely chopped
- 2-3 cups water
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Toss shrimp with paprika, salt, pepper:
Pat dry the peeled and deveined shrimp and place them in a medium bowl, toss to coat with 1/2 teaspoon salt, paprika, and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small sauté pan on high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until they are cooked on the outside, but not quite cooked through (They'll continue to cook as they sit outside of the pan,). Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Simmer salted water:
Put 3 cups of water with about a teaspoon of salt in a small saucepan. Heat until simmering. Lower the heat and keep warm while you start the risotto.
Sauté shallots, garlic:
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a 3 to 4-quart thick-bottomed pot on medium heat. Add the minced shallots and cook until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook a minute more.
Add risotto rice:
Add the risotto to the pot, stir to coat. Let cook for a minute or two for the rice to just barely begin to brown.
Add 1/2 cup dry white wine:
Let come to a low simmer and slowly stir until the wine has been absorbed by the rice.
Add clam juice and artichoke water:
Add the clam juice and the reserved water from the can of artichokes, a half cup at a time, slowly stirring and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more liquid.
Start adding hot salted water, 1/2 cup at a time:
Once the rice as absorbed the wine, clam juice, and artichoke water, you can start adding the hot, lightly salted water from step one.
Add it 1/2 cup at a time, again stirring slowly, allowing the rice to absorb it for a minute or two before adding any more. You'll need between 2 and 3 cups of water.
You'll want to stop adding water when the rice is cooked through, but still a little firm to the bite, "al dente."
Add the rest of the ingredients:
Stir in the chopped artichoke hearts. Fold in the shrimp and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.