Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gifts from the Sea Risotto (Frutta de Mare)

This is a Venetian dish and very often, it is made with mussels, clams, squid and shrimp. You can use what is on hand in your area. Normally, tomatoes and mushrooms are omitted. It does not take long to make, and, most chefs to take advantage of the seafood’s freshness, prepare this the day they shop the ingredients.  The better the seafood or Premium Fish Stock (see http://www.barharborfoods.com/stocks.php), the better the risotto. The Bar Harbor Seafood Stock is sold online at Amazon

4 Tablespoons very flavorful extra virgin olive oil
2 Shallots finely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small stock of peeled celery, chopped, optional
1 Mediterranean Bay leaf
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (Carnaroli rice)
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
4 cups prepared seafood stock (boil shrimp shells to help flavor this stock)
2 Cup chicken stock
1 pound shelled white ocean shrimp
2 baby lobsters, 3 ounce, slit shells down lengthwise
1 pound diver scallops
Sea Salt
1 clove crushed garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper optional
White Ground Pepper
Pinch or Italian oregano
1 level teaspoon of sugar
Halved Sun Gold Tomatoes or other ripe baby tomatoes
Cremini mushrooms sliced thin
Garnish chiffonade of fresh basil and diced chives for

Keep the stock warm in a separate pan. Boil shrimp shells, a bay leaf, and some threads of saffron to help flavor this stock. Skim out bay leaf and shells before using stock.

In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped shallots, optionally a pinch of red pepper, celery if you are adding it and chopped carrot. Cook just until shallots clear but do not brown. Add the rice. Stir and toast until all kernels are coated and fragrant about 2~3 minutes stir constantly.

Add the wine and bring to a boil. Allow wine to cook down and then ladle in the stock to just cover the rice. Add crushed garlic, sliced mushrooms. Cook and stir ten minutes, stirring frequently, maintaining a level liquid by adding more stock.

Add the scallops, tomato halves, oregano, lobster tails, and continue cooking covered until rice is soft but still very al dente. If too dry, add more stock. Add the shrimp, cook for just two more minutes covered. Remove from heat. Season with sea salt and white pepper. Garnish with basil and chives. Serve immediately.

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