Friday, February 15, 2013

Yellow Pepper Risotto With Shrimp And Zucchini

Yellow Pepper Risotto With Shrimp And Zucchini recipe

A puree of roasted yellow pepper replaces Parmesan cheese, making this unique risotto dish slightly sweeter than other versions. This one is very easy to make, but it requires some tenacity - you'll need to stand over the stove and stir for 30 minutes or so. While most Savory, Sweet and Spicy recipes can be prepared in under an hour - this one clocks in a little over. But after you have invested the time, you will have in front of you one of the best risotto dishes you have ever tasted.  I made this one for Valentine's Day last night and it was a special dinner - better than what we could find among the bastion of fine Italian restaurants in LA.

Yellow Pepper Risotto With Shrimp And Zucchini

2 yellow peppers
3 T olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed, shells reserved {I used jumbo prawns and cut them in 1/2}
1/2 t coarse salt
5 T butter
1 large zucchini, diced
6 c vegetable broth
3 shallots, minced
1 c Arborio rice
1/2 c dry white wine
1/4 c loosely packed fresh basil, chopped

Prepare the pepper puree
Roast the peppers under a broiler, turning with tongs as soon as each side is blistered and blackened. When all four sides are complete, place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  When cool, peel the peppers, discarding the skin and then discard the seeds and ribs. Quarter the peppers and puree them in a food processor.  Set aside.

Cook the shrimp
Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season shrimp with 1/4 t salt and pepper and saute them in a single layer until they are opaque, about 3 minutes, turning once.  If you skillet is too small to accommodate all the shrimp at once, you can saute them in batches.  Set aside and cover loosely to keep warm.

Cook the zucchini
In the same skillet, melt 1 T of butter over medium heat. Add zucchini, remaining 1/4 t salt and pepper and saute until zucchini is tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare the stock
Place a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp shells and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain through a fine sieve, discarding shells and returning broth to the saucepan. Bring back to a boil and then keep at a low simmer.

Prepare the risotto
Melt 3 T of butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  {When I make risotto [and curries}, I prefer to use a large 5 1/2 quart saute pan as I think the increased diameter of the pan allows for faster, more even cooking. Add the shallots and cook, stirring constantly until they are soft and translucent,  about 3 minutes. Add rice, and stir constantly until the grains are glossy - 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine to the rice and stir constantly until wine is completely absorbed.

Add 6 T of broth plus 2 T pepper puree to the rice, stirring constantly at a slow speed with a wooden spoon until mixture is thick enough to leave a clear wake behind the spoon. Continue repeating this process, adding 6 T of broth plus 2 T of pepper puree to the rice, stirring and adding more as the rice absorbs it. This process will take between 18 and 25 minutes.  I used all the pepper puree and had broth left over. The rice is done when it is tender {but intact} with a thick, creamy consistency. Be careful not to overcook.

Remove from heat and stir in shrimp, zucchini, remaining 1 T of butter and the nearly all the basil. Season with salt and pepper. garnish with reserved basil.

Serves 4.
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Source:  Adapted from Christopher Israel

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