Spring Asparagus Risotto with Shrimp and Lemon Shallot Butter

By • March 19, 2010 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I learned to make this risotto in Tuscany with my wonderful friends at Tutti a Tavola. They made everything seem so natural and easy, and removed all my 'risotto fear'. I came straight home and ordered a pan similar to theirs (broad bottomed pan with 4-5 inch sides) and I've been making risotto ever since. Because the risotto spreads out over this broad base, it doesn't seem to be labor intensive.Annelle

Serves 6

Shrimp with Lemon Shallot Butter

  • 2 pounds large shrimp in shell
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (I use Chesapeake Bay Style Seafood Seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
  1. Fill a large bottomed pan with about 2 inches of water. Add seafood seasoning and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When boiling, add half shrimp, cover, and boil for one and a half minutes. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon to bowl of ice. Add remaining shrimp to pan and repeat. Strain cooking liquid into sauce pan and set aside (SAVE BROTH). Remove shrimp from ice bath and peel and devein, throwing shells away.
  2. Mix zest and lemon juice, tarragon, shallots, salt, dried chilli flakes and butter. Place half the shrimp into medium sized buttered casserole. Generously brush shrimp with the lemon/butter mixture. Top with half the panko. Repeat shrimp layer and brush with butter mixture. Mix remaining panko with pecans and remaining butter mixture. Spread evenly over shrimp. Bake in preheated 325º for 25 minutes. (Bake while making risotto.)

Asparagus Risotto

  • 2 bunches small, new asparagus
  • 1 medium sized sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup crisp white wine (I use Pino Grigio), room temperature
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 6 cups shrimp and vegetable broth*
  • 1 cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  1. *For vegetable broth: 2 stalks celery, with tops, roughly chopped 1 onion, quartered 3 large Parsley sprigs 1 teaspoon salt--- Break asparagus and set aside tender stalks with tips. Add 6 cups water to medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, parsley, salt and the tough asparagus ends to water. Simmer for 30 minutes (or more). Remove vegetables from broth with slotted spoon, and discard, SAVING BROTH.
  2. Cut tips from tender ends of asparagus, and add tips to vegetable broth over medium heat. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, just until tender. Remove asparagus tips with slotted spoon to ice bath, cool, remove from ice bath and set aside. Add reserved shrimp broth to vegetable broth and keep at a low simmer.
  3. Finely dice remaining raw asparagus stems. Add 3 tablespoons butter and olive oil to large bottomed, heavy skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Add diced onion, and when becoming translucent, add finely diced stems of asparagus. Cook until tender.
  4. Add rice and stir until rice is nicely coated and mixed with vegetables. Continue to stir for a minute or two, and then add wine. Stir until wine is nearly all absorbed by rice.
  5. Add lemon zest, and about one cup of simmering broth. Stir occasionally until broth is nearly absorbed, and add another cup of broth. Repeat the process until rice is of proper consistency, and most of broth has been added. Rice should be tender on the outside with just a tiny 'bite' left on the inside. This takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the bottom of your pan.
  6. Remove from heat and add one tablespoon butter, and parmesan cheese, and stir vigorously to combine. Add a little more warm broth if needed. Risotto should have a creamy, almost soupy consistency while retaining that tiny little 'bite' in the center of the grains. Cover and let rest for a couple of minutes.
  7. Serve risotto in bowls with a nice spoonful of shrimp with lemon shallot butter, topping each serving with a few reserved asparagus tips.
  8. (Note: seafood risottos generally omit cheese, but the parmesan cheese in this recipe combines beautifully with the baked shrimp.)

Tags: entertaining, savory, seafood, serves a crowd, Vegetables

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