Hi there! I know I'm weighing in rather late, but as your foreign blog correspondent, this is the first chance I've had to post from "out East". I read about the challenge, and decided to try it on my own, as I have an entire cupboard of cookbooks of all types. Having now been invited to post along with the others, I'm delighted!
I hope that you won't be overwhelmed with the onslaught of recipes all in a row. I promise to put a bit more space in between in the rest of this year. Most of my entree and side dish recipes will probably be short prep and cook time, as in my household, we eat our big meal at lunch. This limits the amount of time one has in the kitchen, as I often don't like thinking of cooking a big meal the minute I'm awake, and sometimes I forget to thaw things out the night before. An additional requirement in my household is that every big meal have some sort of meat dish in it.
I really like making risotto, ever since I found out how easy it is to cook. I have a cousin-in-law who is from Sicily, Italy, and also is a chef, and he said really, once you start adding the stock in, you just need to stir it when you pass the stove and all will be well. I have a great little cookbook that is entirely risotto recipes, and in the winter it is a warm and filling meal. Also, almost a 1 pot meal, if you don't count how you heat the stock. Just what I like, Veg and Starch and Protein all in one dish!
Lobster Risotto (for 2)
1 cooked lobster, or 1lb jumbo shrimp (I used 16-20count frozen uncooked shrimp)
2.5 c fish stock (I used chicken stock, because I always have it on hand)
1T olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1t chopped fresh thyme leaves (I used Penzey's dried thyme)
generous 3/4c risotto rice
2/3 cup sparkling white wine (or dry vermouth)
1t green or pink peppercorns in brine, drained & coarsely chopped (I used plain pink peppercorns)
1T chopped fresh parsley (again with the Penzey's dried)
If using lobster, twist off the claws and set aside. Remove all body meat and put with the claws. Bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan, the reduce heat to simmer. Keep simmering throughout. Heat the oil and 1/2 the butter in a large, rather deep frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5min until soft. Add garlic and cook 30sec more. Stir in the thyme. Reduce heat, add the rice and stir to coat in the butter/oil. Cook stirring constantly for 2-3min until rice looks mostly translucent. Stir in the wine and cook for 1min until reduced. Add the hot stock, 1 ladleful at a time, stirring after each addition until the rice absorbs it. Increase the heat to medium until the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20min or until all the liquid is absorbed. 5min before the end of the cooking time, add the lobster meat/claws (or shrimp) and heat until cooked through. Remove pan from heat and stir in the peppercorns, remaining butter and the parsley. Serve at once.
So, would I serve this again? Yes, although with the substitutions, it is maybe a completely different recipe than the one in the book. You be the judge. I had read somewhere at some time that one could substitute vermouth for white wine, and seeing as this was a lunch dish, I did not want to open a new bottle of wine. I did a 1:1 substitution which gave it an interesting flavor. I have since learned it's supposed to be more like a 1:2/3 substitution. Oh well, it still tasted good!