The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.
Creamy Risotto made with Mushrooms, Champagne and topped with Lobster and Proscuitto – think of anything better!
I have made risotto several times before and one of my favorites is one of Giadas” for Champagne Risotto. I decided to add the mushrooms and lobster and use a seafood stock instead of chicken stock. Riscotto could possibly be my all time best comfort food. And while it is still cool here at nights here in Texas I thought we needed a little comforting tonight.
I first had risotto on our trip to Italy. I had a shrimp risotto that was so delicious but I always laugh thinking about it. If you have ever seen the movie “Big Night” you know the scene I’m talking about where this lady orders shrimp risotto but she can’t really see any shrimp in it and ask the chef to bring her another dish to go along with her risotto. The chef refuses to bring her what she wanted because he said “it did not go with HIS risotto”.
My son, Scott, made a risotto once when he was visiting us that had a grilled, then crumbled Monkfish on top. It was delicious and that’s where I got the idea for the lobster garnish. I had a hard time finding a 4 oz. lobster tail and I would have rather had a 2-3 oz. tail but couldn’t find one. I guess I could have gotten some crawfish since they kind of look like lobsters.
Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is cooked with and cheese and can have the addition of vegetables or meat. Risotto is cooked differently from other rice dish as you slowly add the broth one cup at a time and stir until that is absorbed before adding more broth. It is creamier than just a regular white rice.
All the ingredients ready to start the risotto. If you don’t want to splurge on the lobster, use shrimp or some type of grilled fish.
After you saute the risotto you start adding the broth very slowly. When almost finished stir in the chopped asparagus.
Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto with Lobster & Proscuitto
8 thin slices prosciutto
3 c. classic seafood stock (I used Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold)*
6 asparagus spears cut diagonally into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 oz. dried mushrooms, rehydrated in boiling water
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 shallot, finely chopped
3/4 c. Arborio rice
3/4 c. champagne (drink the rest)
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 – 4-6 oz. lobster tail, steamed or grilled
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the slices of prosciutto on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until the prosciutto slices are almost completely crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. The proscuitto slices will crisp up as they cool. Crumble about half and leave a few big pieces for garnishing.
Bring one cup water to a boil, add the 1/2 oz. of dried mushrooms, simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let stand for 45 minutes. Chop when mushrooms have cooled.
Make the seafood stock according to the directions on the package. The directions are 1 part Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold with 20 parts water. So you will need three cups of this stock. This little 1.5 oz. package makes approximately 4 cups stock. I’m making the whole package and freezing any left over. Keep the broth simmering while you make your risotto.
You can blanch your asparagus in the seafood stock 2 mintues or saute it in a little butter. Remove with slotted spoon.
In another medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat in the butter. Continue toasting the rice, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes more. Add the Champagne and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the asparagus, chopped mushrooms, remaining butter, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
Remove the lobster meat from the tail and chop. Spoon the risotto into serving dishes and garnish by breaking the crisp prosciutto into smaller pieces over the top of the risotto and topping with a little chopped lobster. Serve immediately.
According to Jamie Oliver ‘”You want it to be smooth, creamy and oozy, not thick and stodgy.”
The Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold comes in a little 1.5 oz. package and can be found at specialty stores.
Be prepared to stand over your risotto 20-40 minutes.
Go slow and have a little patience, you will be rewarded with a wonderful dish in the end.