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Author Notes: Sometimes rice dishes can be a hassle due to the constant stirring and worrying. Adding white wine to the rice as the base will prevent it from sticking and burning, therefore making it a flexible dish since stirring is virtually not required. The addition of uni (sea urchin) gives this Italian rice dish an umami taste and extra creamy consistency. —Ellie Betzen
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt+sprinkle of pepper
- 1 pound deveined shrimp with shell (I used frozen)
- 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (optional)
- 1 veg or chicken bouillon
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 cups water
- 6 saffron threads
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2-3 ounces uni (about 6 pieces)
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- In a large pot, preferably one with a large surface as height of the pot doesn't matter so much, melt butter on medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, salt and pepper for about 1 minute until onion is slightly translucent/tender. Add shrimp with the shell on and cook stirring a few times, until shrimp is slightly pink or orange on both sides. About 1-1.5 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
- Now that we have the flavor base, toast and coat the rice in the base at medium heat, stirring frequently just to get it slightly translucent but not tan or burnt. About 2 minutes. Addthe bouillon followed by white wine, and when alcohol is slightly evaporated, you may add water. At this point the stirring becomes less frequent. Simmer the stock for 2 minutes or so, transfer just a tablespoon of the stock to a small bowl and throw in a pinch of saffron threads. This will create a depth of flavor. Set aside for a few minutes for the flavors to meld.
- Continue to simmer the rice for about 6 minutes, throw in the small mixture of stock and saffron, juice of once lemon, and stir once one twice. Cook for approximately 6 more minutes or until rice is tender. But you may need a little bit more water if it's too thick for your liking. The highlight of risotto is its creaminess. Add Uni but reserve 3 of them if you want to use as garnish, some shredded parmigiano, and stir over medium heat until everything is melted and roughly incorporated. Serve with herbs on top and the reserved Uni if you like.