Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Rock Shrimp, Tomato, and Leek Risotto with Basil and Meyer Lemon

Monday, December 13th, 2010


This is a sort of mating of my favorite Shrimp Scampi recipe with a recipe for a Mushroom Risotto that I really like (sans mushrooms though).  It should be almost soupy.

3 leeks, divided
1 cup cream
1 large tomato (or 5-6 roma tomatoes) cut into small 1/4 inch dice
10 large basil leaves cut into chiffonade, divided
1 cup arborio rice
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 cup white wine, divided
2 large cloves garlic
3-4 cups shrimp or chicken stock
1 lb fresh rock shrimp
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 Meyer lemon
Parmigiano Reggiano
salt and pepper

Carefully wash the leeks, then trim the root end and the tops just where they start to turn light green.  Halve them longways, then check for mud and dirt again and rinse if necessary.  Slice into thin half-moons, keeping the slices from one of the leeks separate from the other two.

Put the slices from two of the leeks into a small saucepan, cover with the cream, and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer gently for about 10 minutes.  Add tomato and continue to simmer.

Meanwhile, start the risotto.  In a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized stock pot, melt 1 tbsp butter.  Add leeks, and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes until softened and beginning to brown slightly.

Add rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes until coated with butter-leek mixture and beginning to toast.  Add 2/3 cup wine and stir until wine is mostly absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup chicken or shrimp stock at a time, stirring frequently, waiting to add more stock until there’s just a little bit of liquid left.  Continue to add stock until the rice is cooked through and just barely firm in the center.  Grate a bit of the Meyer lemon rind (from about 1/4 of the lemon) into the risotto, and season to taste.

Add 1/2 basil and peas to cream mixture and stir.  Check seasoning, then pour into risotto and gently fold to combine with the rice.

Heat a large non-reactive skillet over high heat.  Add 1 tbsp butter and melt, then add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until cooked through — about 2 minutes.  Add shrimp to risotto, then return skillet to heat, melt the remaining 1 tbsp butter, then add the garlic cloves, pressing them through a garlic press.  Sauté for just a few seconds, then pour in 1/3 cup wine to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Pour liquid into risotto, then squeeze 1/2 Meyer lemon on top and fold gently to combine.

Serve in shallow bowls, garnishing with a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano and some of the basil chiffonade.  Serve with the same wine you used to add to the risotto.

Scallop “Chips”

Saturday, April 18th, 2009


This addictive recipe comes from the Stonewall Kitchen Favorites cookbook.   The authors suggest them as an appetizer but they are great as a main course with lemony potato salad, cold blanched green beans, or as shown with a light salad of pea shoots, goat cheese, and pine nuts and a glass of chilled Torrontes. This is one of those things that you will be compelled to make again and again by peer pressure.

The inspiration for these crisp, savory “chips” came from an episode of the wildly entertaining show Iron Chef America on the TV Food Network. The “secret” ingredient was scallops, and Iron Chef Morimoto thinly sliced them and served them with a dipping sauce. That idea led us to remember how much we love an old New England favorite — deep fried scallops. These scallop chips are a combination of East meets West — very thinly sliced sea scallops are coated in panko breadcrumbs and fried so that they are crisp on the outside and tender inside –and they cook in about 2 minutes! We like making them in a wok because the oil sits at the bottom and none of it splatters.

Serve the scallops as an appetizer with Cocktail Sauce, Garlic Aioli, Asian Dipping Sauce, or lemon and lime wedges.

1 pound sea scallops, tabs removed
About 2 cups safflower or vegetable oil
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
About 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, or fresh breadcrumbs
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Place the scallops in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes to make them much easier to slice.

In a wok or a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat about 20 seconds. Add the ginger to the oil and let it heat up for about 2 minutes. The oil is hot enough when you drop a tiny bit of panko into it and it sizzles immediately.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the scallops horizontally. You should get 3 to 4 slices from each large scallop. Place the panko in a bowl and lightly coat each slice of scallop with panko on all sides. Place on a plate.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Remove the ginger from the oil with a slotted spoon. Cook the scallops in batches in the hot oil. Add enough scallops to fit in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 30 seconds; gently flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. (If you’re making a double batch and need to keep the scallops warm, place them on an ovenproof plate and place in the oven while you fry the remaining batches; otherwise. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8 [very polite people or 2 lucky bastards. -Ed.]