Seafood Risotto With a Serious Kick

arboro rice

arboro rice

fish and bay scallops saute

fish and bay scallops saute

I modified a recipe to suit my crazy eclectic taste buds which refuse to accept anything bland. Fortunately, after years of eating tongue-searing spice (and loving it), I was reluctant to try a dish that lent itself to subtlety rather than in-your-face flavor. But curiosity won and here is what I came up with!

NOTE: Use a combination of Tilapia, bay scallops, crab meat (fresh or out of a pouch), lobster and shrimp. Whatever works for your budget. I usually use tilapia, crab and lobster because the flavors complement each other and I get a good seafood stock out of the shells. So, a little really does go a long way.
Servings: This recipe serves 5.
Time to prepare : 1 hour prep. 1/2 hour cooking time.
Difficulty: Easy

INGREDIENTS
1 pound of assorted seafood
4C seafood stock or a combination of seafood stock (even store-bought) and chicken broth
1 1/2 C Arboro rice
1/4 C finely chopped parsley (Italian is better)
1/4 C olive oil or avocado oil
Salt (as needed)
1/2 C white wine (any kind)
2 Tbsp Rum or Brandy
Pinch of pepper
1/2 finely chopped celery
1/4 C finely diced carrot
1/2 to 1 dried red chili, crushed (the Indian store variety will do nicely)
2 shallots chopped fine
1 large pinch turmeric

METHOD

Step 1. Making the seafood stock
If using shrimp, crab or lobster, shell the shrimp, crab and lobster, reserve the shells and peels. Cook the shells and peels in 5 cups of water, a pinch of salt, one bay leaf and a clove of garlic. Cook uncovered until the liquid reduces to about half the quantity.

Step 2: Prepare the seafood
Chop up the crab meat, lobster and shrimp into small chunks, and set aside. (Note: the crab meat will not need chopping up unless you are using King Crab)

Step 3: Make the Risotto
In a large pot ( that can be covered tightly with a well-fitting lid) add diced carrot, half the shallots, and celery to 1/4 C oil and saute on medium heat. When the onions are slightly caramalized (not burned!) add the parsley and arboro rice and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat the rice with veggies and oil. Stir and toss for about 2-3 minutes. Add pepper. Add the wine and brandy. Pour 2 cups of the broth. Allow the rice to absorb the liquid. Add more liquid in stages until the rice is cooked al dente and some liquid is still there in the pot. If not, add more broth. Turn off the stove and cover the pot. The rice will slowly absorb more of the liquid while it is "sitting."

Step 4: Prepare the seafood
In a nonstick frying pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the remaining chopped shallots and crushed chilli and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tilapia (whole). Sprinkle turmeric over the fish. Cook uncovered until the tilapia browns slightly. Using a wooded spoon, break up the fish into smaller pieces. Add the lobster meat or shrimp or bay scallops and cook until the meat turns pink (the scallops won't turn pink). Check for salt. Don't add too much salt because the risotto already has salt. Add the crab meat last. Toss gently.

To serve: Top the risotto with the seafood. Serve hot. This tastes great as a left over as well. It reheats really well. Serve with pan seared baguette.

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