Monday, December 7, 2009

Asparagus & Meyer Lemon Risotto with Butter-Poached Shrimp

I was pretty excited to see our Meyer lemon tree in full force up in Napa this weekend. I harvested a full grocery bag worth and brought them back to San Francisco. The first thing that came to mind last night as the chill rolled in over the bridge... risotto and butter-poached shrimp.

I am a lobster junkie but I never cook it at home or make it for guests because it's so down-right expensive at times. So, in the case, I subbed for some medium sized shrimp that I butter- poached and served right on top. You could also sub scallops, prawns or halibut.

Lobster is a treat so I usually order it out on special occasions. In fact, I plan on ordering it on my 30th birthday this Thursday at Fleur de Lys but more on that later in the week.

Asparagus & Meyer Lemon Risotto with Butter-Poached Shrimp

1 cup asparagus
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 ½ cups chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
juice of 2 Meyer lemons
salt & pepper
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
16 medium shrimp, raw, tails removed and devained

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for two minutes. Shock with cold water to stop the cooking and drain well. Cut into one inch pieces and set aside.

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Cover and turn heat to low.

In a Dutch oven, sauté shallots in butter over medium heat until light brown, about 4 minutes. Add rice and lemon zest. Stir to coat in butter/shallot mixture for 1-2 minutes. Add wine and let reduce on medium high heat for about 3 minutes to burn off alcohol. Add 1-1 ½ cups stock and reduce heat to low.

Stirring regularly to make sure rice doesn’t stick to the pan, add stock in ½ cup additions as the rice absorbs liquid. Check the rice before the last addition to see if it is done (rice should be al dente, not mushy). Add lemon juice into the rice with the last addition of stock.

As the lemon juice is absorbed, add asparagus, salt and pepper to taste. Stir two
minutes then remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese and serve.

Butter-Poached Shrimp

- 1 tbsp water
- 1 lb unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- shrimp (see above for prep)

Bring shrimp to room temperature.

In a saucepan, heat water until boiling and whisk in one or two chunks of butter to form an emulsion. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk in butter, one chunk at a time, until the sauce is about 1-inch high.

Use an instant-read thermometer to maintain the temperature of the sauce between 160F and 190F during cooking.

Add shrimp and cook for 5 or 6 minutes. If shrimp are not fully covered, use a spoon to gently turn over after 3 minutes.

Serve immediately over risotto.

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