For illogical and unknown reasons, I sometimes let myself slip into a state of mind where I assume something will be hard to do before I even give it a try. I can almost convince myself not to do something because I’ll certainly fail. And if someone comes along who helps to make things easier, I don’t trust them. Why? I don’t know, I told you it didn’t make sense. If someone wants to make my life a little bit easier, that should be a good thing. But instead of embracing it, I fight it. I already had it in my head that things were going to be difficult and couldn’t possibly be made easier and that’s just the way it’s going to be. This problem extends to many areas of my life, the kitchen included. If I can convince myself to get over my uncertainty however, good things usually result. Like risotto. Before I had ever made risotto, I assumed it was hard. It seemed like something I could only ever order in a restaurant. I was mistaken. Risotto is infinitely adaptable and once you know how to make it, you’ll never need a recipe or measurements again. It’s a dish that I like making for other people because it’s not as common as something like pasta but it’s just as versatile. If your guest likes shrimp, then make them a shrimp risotto. If they don’t like shrimp, they’re foolish, but you can still make them happy with a risotto of their choice.
The Baker and the Curry Maker are hosting their first blogging event, which they’re calling the Risotto Relay. They’re Aussies and are generously offering up Tim Tams to the person who comes up with the best risotto, so I hope they like my Prawn and Pea offering… cause I like Tim Tams.
I suppose you want a recipe as well, of course I didn’t use one, but here’s what I did this time around: To start, I combined shrimp with a splash of white wine, some orange zest and a couple cloves of garlic, smashed. How much shrimp you ask? I was making it for two people so as much shrimp as the two of us wanted to eat. How much wine? Enough to coat the shrimp. How much orange zest? How orangey do you like your shrimp? I used the zest of one orange. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Heat up some butter and oil and when it’s hot, throw in the shrimp and cook until pink 2-3 minutes. How much butter and oil? Meh, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove the shrimp but keep any remaining butter/oil/sauce in the pan. Chop half a red onion, (more if you want) and toss it into the pan, cooking about 3 minutes until it starts to look translucent. Add in your Arborio rice and stir. How much rice? Once again, it depends how many people you’re cooking for, I used about a generous half cup. I think you get the picture, measurements really don’t matter. When the rice is completely coated and is starting to give off a nutty aroma, add white wine. Once that’s absorbed, add chicken stock, stir, stir, stir, add chicken stock, stir, stir, stir, add chicken stock… oh you know the routine. When the rice has absorbed all it’s going to absorb and is still slightly al dente, add in a generous helping of freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir some more. Then add peas and shrimp, some ground pepper if you’re feeling lucky and, wait for it… stir. Hey, guess what? You just made risotto! And it tastes really good so enjoy it.