Creamy Risotto and Scallops

The measurements for the risotto are to feed my family of six, that are total pigs with a little left over. I’m sure for a normal family 1/2 the recipe would be enough.  Please don’t be afraid to be brave and forget about measuring things. Just whatever feels right.  The hardest part about posting recipes is thinking of the measurements I use.  I NEVER measure, I cook by taste, sight, and touch.

You’ll need:

2 1/2 cups arborio rice

3 cans of chicken broth

3 cans of water (filled from the empty chicken broth cans)

1 cup parmesan or romano cheese

2 TB butter

Handful of fresh herbs (I used lemon thyme & parsley)

1/4 cup lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

1 large onion

1 bulb of fennel

2 pounds of scallops

1 bunch of asparagus

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Risotto can be made so many different ways and for some reason many people think it’s hard to make.  I find it pretty easy except for that it takes at least 45 minutes and you can’t go far from the pot.  Any herbs or veggies can be switched out, I really like my risotto with lots of mushrooms.  But, tonight I wanted the kids to eat it, so I left out the mushrooms. Caramelize finely sliced onion and fennel; set aside.

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Melt butter in pot and saute the arborio until slightly golden.  When the rice is golden start to add some of the broth, maybe 1/3 of the can.

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The key is to add a little bit of liquid at a time stirring regularly and as it cooks down add some more liquid.  This does take quite a bit of time, but it is so worth the wait.  Alternate between water and broth and you can put the lemon juice in the pot as one of the refills of liquid in the pot.

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Chop up fresh herbs of your choice and put 1/2 in the pot to cook down with the rice and save the other 1/2 for topping off the dish. Grate cheese if needed and set aside.  Wash and slice asparagus. I just cut it in half and stick it in a shallow dish with water and microwave it for 4-5 minutes.

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Then I remove it from the water and saute it in a pan with olive oil and salt & pepper for a couple of minutes, I like to cook it like this sinceit has a slight crunch and keeps the pretty bright green color. AND, it just tastes really good.

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When the risotto is almost all the way cooked, which you can tell by tasting it and making sure there is no hard middle, add the cheese and lemon zest.

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For the scallops it is important to dry them as much as you can by blotting with paper towels.  They suck up water so don’t rinse them and then they will let out a lot of water when you’re trying to get a golden crust on them.  See mine, I didn’t dry them as much as I should have, but I was hurrying off the Open House at one of the kid’s school.  Heat olive oil in pan until hot and cook the scallops with garlic, salt & pepper.

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Plate risotto, scallops, asparagus and top with fresh herbs.  You can throw some more cheese on top if you’d like.  My picture has the fennel on the side since my kids don’t like it.  Delish.

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