When we need a quick and delicious meal, shrimp risotto to the rescue!
Do you have nights where you haven’t planned anything for dinner but want to put a great meal on the table that everyone including the kids will enjoy? In our house, that means shrimp risotto.
I already have a recipe for shrimp risotto on the site and it’s very good but it’s more of a “weekend” version. Wine, heavy cream, saffron – great ingredients but may be too much for the kids.
I need one that calls for ingredients that I know I have on hand, can be made at the last minute, and has the kids asking for seconds.
Here’s my weekday version of shrimp risotto that I think you’ll enjoy, but don’t let that stop you from experimenting with other ingredients that you may have on hand and your family enjoys.
This is a really basic version and can easily be modified with different herbs and spices. And be sure to make enough or put some aside for kids’ lunches the next day.
We served it with asparagus steamed as a side vegetable and topped the dish with it.
My wife measures out the Arborio rice by the handful and then opens a container of chicken stock but always has some water heating up in case she need more liquid. From my research, the liquid/rice ratio is approximately 3 1/2 cups liquid to 1 cup of rice but this really depends on how you like your risotto.
I like my risotto a little more al dente so I use less liquid. My wife likes it creamier and the rice a little softer so she cooks it a little longer with more liquid. If you start with the 3.5/1 ratio, you’ll be fine and you can always add more liquid if you like.
Some More To Know About Working With Shrimp
Reluctant Gourmet Tips
- Bring the stock to a simmer and keep it hot. You don’t want to add cold stock to your hot pan. It will completely slow down the cooking process.
- Leave a few shrimp whole for presentation purposes. I think it tastes better with smaller pieces but the whole shrimp look great especially on weekends when serving to friends.
- Any pan will work but I like to use a large sauté or frying pan so there’s more surface for the rice to cook on.
- Cook the Arborio rice after sautéing the onion but before adding the stock. This will coat the rice with oil to prevent it from sticking and give the rice a nice nutty flavor.
- The trick to great homemade risotto is constant, gentle stirring.
Simple Shrimp Risotto
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion diced fine
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 7 cups chicken stock heated (water may be substituted)
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and cut into halves or thirds depending on size.
- 1 cup frozen peas
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil and butter and when hot, add the onion. Cook until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the Arborio rice to the center of the pan and combine with the onion. Give it a stir so it gets coated with some of the oil in the pan.
- Let it cook for a minute or two until it starts to give off a nice nutty aroma.
- Start by adding hot stock to the pan about 1/2 cup at a time so the rice can slowly absorb the liquid. Stir frequently until the rice absorbs most of the liquid but before the rice starts sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add another ½ cup of stock and keep stirring.
- When you are down to about 2 cups of stock, add the shrimp and stir. Add some more stock. When the shrimp starts to turn pink, add the peas and a bit more liquid.If you need more liquid, and you’ve run out of stock, use a little of the hot water you had at the ready. You will need to taste the rice to determine when it reaches the right consistency for your palate.The shrimp cooks very quickly in the rice and stock so be careful not to overcook it.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve.