Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shrimp Risotto

The Crescent City Farmer's Market is busting out right now. Spring is by far my favorite season. It is so less ultimate than either the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Unfortunately, I will have to miss the market next Saturday as I will be cooking a prized pig to help fight cancer, but you should go. Then come by and help destroy cancer.

Fava beans are in season. These velveteen pods hold a bean, that must first be removed from said pod and then peeled. Blanch the bean in heavily salted, boiling water until tender. This does not take long. Toss into an ice bath, dry and reserve. Do the same to some asparagus.

We also got some beautiful shrimp (U-15s) and some more Cilantro-Chipotle Pesto from Paul the Pesto Guy. Lindsay peeled the shrimp, reserving the heads and shells for me. Into a pot of water went the reserves, and that simmered for 30 minutes. Skim the fat, strain, and you have shrimp stock.

Swung by Nor-Joe's and picked up a muff and some risotto. Into a heavy pot, a nob of butter, some diced onion, and some olive oil. Then, toss in the asparagus and the fava beans. On second thought reserve the fava beans and put in at the end. They will remain crisper.
Place risotto in pan and saute lightly. Add a generous amount of white wine, allow to evaporate. Then ladle by ladle add shrimp stock until risotto is cooked through, all the while stirring.
Meanwhile, toss the shrimp in some of the pesto and grill outdoors. Marvel at man and his control over fire.
To plate, spoon the risotto and arrange the shrimp better than I did here. Grate some good Parmesan Reggiano over the top, use the real thing. Spoon left over pesto over shrimp. One hell of a good meal.
Serve with a bone dry white. I opted for a Robert Foley Pinot Blanc that I picked up from Partysist on Metairie Road. Don't let the vowel ending name fool you, risotto is quite easy to make and the possibilities are endless. Fresh mushrooms, walnuts and maybe blue cheese, grilled scallops with saffron risotto...

And if you are a fan of Electronic Medical Records, I am giving a hilarious routine on them tomorrow at the Doubletree. But please there wont be much time (only about 7 hours) for autographs/questions about food. See here for info.

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