Monday, June 13, 2011

Risotto with Shrimp and Peas and Easy BBQ Sauce

Since the AP World History test is over, the class has been...a little less rigorous than it was before the test. That's not to say we don't do anything, but things move a little more slowly.  Actually, we finished watching "Hotel Rwanda" today, and it was excellent.  But I didn't find the movie we started after to be as intriguing, and I spent several quality minutes on Rachael Ray's website looking for a good dinner recipe.  I found one that I liked the looks of, and since we already had everything it was a go.

This was my first time making risotto and I'll be honest that I was a little concerned about the delicate little grains of rice having to absorb so. much. liquid.  But it turned out beautifully, and made a delicious dinner :) I made sure to double it, so we have plenty of leftovers!

Risotto with Shrimp and Peas

adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray

(These are the original, undoubled numbers.  I made a few changes though- the original recipe calls for
3 tablespoons of butter and when I doubled everything else I didn't double the butter.  I also ignored the set shrimp amount and threw in as much as I thought would go well.  Additionally, I eyeballed the onions and lemon zest.  The numbers for the add-ins are pretty forgiving, but I stuck to the rice/liquid measurements very closely.)

1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
salt and pepper
8 oz peeled, cooked small shrimp (just as much as you want)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 lemon, zested

1.  In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth and 1 3/4 cups water over high heat until steaming; cover and keep warm.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat and add onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add the rice and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

2.  Stir in 1 cup of the broth mixture, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring until the liquid is absorbed, 2 or 3 minutes.  Maintaining a low simmer, continue to add the broth mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid.  Cook until the rice is creamy and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  add the rest of the butter, shrimp, peas, and half the cheese and cook and stir until the cheese has melted.  Stir in the lemon zest.

I found that it was very creamy and there was plenty of flavor, but I did add a but of pepper.  Season yours with the remaining cheese, salt, pepper, and butter if you like!

My aunt told me how to make a super easy barbecue sauce that tastes great and takes about 30 seconds to whip up.  You probably already have everything you need- ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke.  We also added a little Tabasco for a little kick, and it was great.  The nice thing about this sauce is that you can adjust it as much as you want to get the exact taste you want, and make it as spicy or as mild as you want.  And it is delicious on a pulled pork sandwich! :)

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