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Lemon Risotto with Spot Prawns

From Alfred Portale's 12 Seasons Cookbook

2 quarts chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 pound arborio rice
2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine

12 large spot prawns or jumbo shrimp, in the shell
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
(Preferably coarse) salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely minced fresh chives

To prepare rice: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep the stock warm over low heat.

In a large pot, combine the butter and olive oil and heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

Cook the rice, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 7 to 10 minutes, until it turns milky white and opaque, and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon zest and thyme leaves; stir to combine.


Add the wine and stir for about 2 minutes, until nearly absorbed. Ladle about 1 cup of the simmering stock into the rice. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often, until the stock is almost completely absorbed. Add more stock, a cup at a time, stirring gently until the broth is absorbed by the rice before adding the next cup.

After about 15 minutes, begin tasting the rice. At this point, add the stock judiciously. The rice should be firm, yet cooked through in 18 to 20 minutes total cooking time.

To prepare prawns: Preheat the broiler. Carefully using a sharp-bladed chef's knife, cut through the shells to split the prawns in half lengthwise. Arrange them, cut side up, in a shallow broiling pan. Brush them with melted butter and season with the salt and pepper. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and opaque in the center.

Stir the lemon juice and chives into the risotto. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto onto warmed plates and garnish each serving with prawns.

Yields 6 appetizer or 4 entrée servings.




(Updated: 10/30/08 SN)

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