Author Notes: I went to Charleston a few years ago with my cousin Toni, to write a piece about the restaurants down there. At almost every restaurant we visited, it seemed, Toni ordered the Shrimp and Grits and declared them the best Shrimp and Grits she'd ever had. And we did have some really great versions. Rather than gloppy and too rich and downright soul-annihilating, like a lot of Yankee takes on the dish I've had, these were comforting with distinctive personalities from restaurant to restaurant.I decided to try to capture those flavors in a risotto. And my soul is still intact. - ENunn
Food52 Review: This was delicious. Restaurant quality. Possibly one of the best meals I've ever made. This is one of those recipes where you really need to do all the prep ahead of time. And it is a lot of prep. I didn't have fish stock, so I took the shrimp shells, covered them with about 2 cups of water, and let that simmer for about 45 minutes while I got the other stuff together, then strained it and added about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to bring it to 2 cups. The recipe calls for butter to saute the onions and mushrooms, but there's no butter in the ingredients list -- I used about 2 tablespoons. Steps 3 and 4 can really be done together -- you can be turning the shrimp while the onions are sautéing, etc. In Step 4, the mushrooms gave off a bit of liquid and I was concerned that the rice wouldn't get properly coated with butter, so I put the onions and mushrooms aside, and added about a tablespoon of olive oil to the dutch oven and cooked the rice in that before adding the broth. I stirred the mushrooms and onions in with the shrimp and bacon at the end. To sum up, it was wonderful. The pain-in-the-ass factor was high -- lots of prep, lots of clean-up. Was it worth it? Totally. I served it with roasted asparagus and a ciabatta. - drbabs - A&M
- 16 large shrimp, about 3/4 pound, peeled and deveined
- 2 lemons, juiced, several slices of peel reserved
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 small onion, finely chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato, about 3 medium
- 2 cups fish stock
- 1/2 cup half and half, warmed
- 1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup long grain arborio superfino
- dashes or more of tabasco, more at table
- 4 scallions, sliced with some green tops
- Place shrimp in a bowl with lemon juice, a few strips of lemon peel, thyme, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium low heat to render fat; remove with a slotted spoon once bacon has cooked to golden but not crisped and drain on paper towel lined plate.
- Add remaining olive oil to bacon fat in pan; cook garlic and parsley together until very fragrant. Add tomatoes to pan and cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add shrimp (with its marinade) and cook one minute per side. Add wine, bring to a simmer, removing shrimp after 1 minute. Set aside in a covered bowl. Add fish stock to remaining liquid and keep at a low simmer.
- In a dutch oven, heat butter and saute onion until golden over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook until golden. Stir in rice and cook until translucent.
- Over a period of 20 minutes, add stock mixture 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed with each addition. When all but a half a cup or so of liquid remains to be added and the rice is al dente stir in bacon and shrimp, and a few dashes of tabasco. Finish the dish with the warm half and half and a squeeze of lemon. Put the lid on the dutch oven and let the risotto rest for 5 minutes before serving topped with scallions and more Tabasco at table if desired.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Risotto (Savory)