Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shrimp and Lobster Risotto

If there's one thing I am sure of in life these days, it's the fact that I'm making good use of the education I've been receiving at Le Cordon Bleu for the past 2 weeks. After witnessing a demonstration in class on how to make perfect risotto, I knew it was something I'd have to try on my own time. Not only had I never tried making risotto myself, but I was already quite fond of risotto's particular texture and creaminess.

Of course, this wouldn't be Screw Your Diet if I didn't add some extra flair to the dish. To that end, I added half a pound of grilled shrimp, lobster tail, and broccoli into the mix. The result was as delicious and rich as you might expect. One thing to note, however, is that exact measurement were not used, so many of them will be approximate measurements rather than being more precise. Savory cooking is mostly done "to taste", so the exact proportions for spices and the like will pretty much be left to your own discretion.

Difficulty: Moderate
Active Prep Time: About 40 minutes
Total Prep Time: About 40 minutes
Special Equipment: None
Serves: 3 - 4


  • 1 1/2 cups rice (Any grain will do, though Arborio is best)
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp
  • 1 lobster tail (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped (Not pictured)
  • Approx. 2 cups white wine 
  • Approx. 3 - 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. In a large sauce pan, melt about 1/2 the stick of butter, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, but not brown (this process is called "sweating"). Add about a teaspoon of salt.

2. Once the onions are translucent in color, add the rice into the pot. Partially cook the rice, stirring frequently, until it becomes more opaque (this process is called "pearling" the rice).

3. When the rice has reached the right color, add the white wine. Stir occasionally, and allow to simmer until the wine has been reduced almost completely.

(While the wine is reducing, begin boiling salty water to prepare the lobster)

4. Place the lobster tail in a pot of boiling salt water and cook for 4 - 5 minutes, until the shell has turned red. Remove it from the pot and strain the lobster tail until it has cooled slightly.

5. Lay the lobster tail on its back, then slice down the middle of the soft under shell. Peel away the shell and cut the meat into smaller pieces.

(Now is a good time to season your pan to prepare for grilling, and don't forget to stir the rice every so often)

6. At this point, the white wine should be mostly reduced, so add hot water. Add just enough to cover the rice completely, and allow to be reduced until almost dry. At that point, add more hot water and repeat the process until the rice is tender and the consistency is creamy. You don't need to cover it and only need to stir this every once in a while, just keep an eye on it and add liquids at the right times. Be sure to taste as you go, adding salt and pepper as needed.

7. While the liquid in the rice reduces, add the remaining butter to the pan and begin grilling the shrimp, lobster, and broccoli over medium-high heat. The broccoli will finish first, so remove it to a separate plate in order to prevent burning it.

8. By the time the shrimp and lobster are finished, the risotto ought to be fully cooked and at the proper consistency. Simply stir in the shrimp, lobster, and broccoli, then serve hot.

Additional Notes:

When the rice is finished cooking, there should still be some liquid in the pot. It will be thick and creamy, which lets you know you've done a good job.

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