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Friday, January 28, 2011

Tackling the Scary Beast

Sometime over the weekend the weeone and I always go through my vast piles of magazine pages I've ripped out or bookmarks on my computer of my "I want to try" recipes. If I plan on making 4 new things this week, I let the weeone pick 2. She gets to control exactly half of the menu. It could be the sides, the entrees, but half. This accomplishes a couple of things. #1- She's willing to try anything that she picked, and #2- She wants to help cook whatever she picked.

Last week one of the weeone's picks was Lobster Risotto. Shocked? Yep, I was too. I mean, what 8 year old says, "Lobster Risotto sounds like a good choice this week"? Apparently, mine. She's an adventurous kid. What can I say.

Here's the thing- risotto is a scary beast.

I've never understood why. I've made it on several occasions in several variations, and always with success, but there's something about risotto that seems "undoable". Is that a word? If not, I think it should be. You get my drift though, right? It seems like it's hard to make.

Interestly enough, several food magazines took the challenge of risotto on in the past couple of months, hoping to prove that risotto is NOT a big scary beast - risotto is actually easy-peasy.

I started with these three lovely lobster tails. Aren't they cute?


With no bodies, I couldn't let them swim in the ocean, but I DID let them swim in a bath of chicken stock and water!  They boiled for about 4 minutes to cook them through then came out to cool down for a bit.



Once the lobster tails were cooled, I split them down the back and removed the meat.  Now, don't toss the shells, we have plans for them!


The shells went into a ziplock bag and I then I took all of my frustration out with a meat tenderizer. ;D Yep, I crushed them. I took the crushed shells and tossed them back into the pot of stock / water to let the lobster flavor take over the liquid. This took about 20 minutes.



While my stock was being "lobsterfied" I diced up the lobster meat. I didn't want it too small, but bite sized.


Once the stock was ready I could really get started. I melted some butter and tossed in the Arborio Rice, letting it toast in the butter for about 2 or 3 minutes.


Here's where the fun really begins. You start by adding 1 cup of your hot lobster broth (that you've strained the shells out of) into the rice. STIR CONTINUOUSLY. Yes, I used caps. It's important. So you stir constantly until the liquid is almost completely absorbed then you continue to add the rest of the broth, 1/2 a cup at a time stirring always and adding only when the broth is completely absorbed from the last addition of liquid.



Once you've added all the broth, you should have a nice creamy risotto that's been infused with your lobster broth - YUM! Take it off the heat, add some peas and your lobster tail meat and...



Voila - you've got lobster risotto! Now, there are only 5 ingredients in this recipe, but it can be time consuming. Just know that it's gonna take at least an hour and you will be heavily involved for at least 30 minutes (stirring, mostly). I employed the weeone for a good bit of stirring, so I advise you procreate just for this purpose.  It's handy to have those small people for these tasks!

I thought this was a really tasty treat of a meal. The weeone picked out the peas and lobster and just ate those and declared the risotto "too creamy" for her. Oh well. She tried. Maybe her tastes will change eventually and we'll have risotto again. But on the upside, she said we should eat more lobster!

Enjoy!



Simple Lobster Risotto

Cooking Light


Total: 1 hour, 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Ingredients

  • 4  cups  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 3  (5-ounce) American lobster tails
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, divided
  • 1  cup  uncooked Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
  • 3/4  cup  frozen green peas, thawed

Preparation

Bring broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lobster; cover and cook for 4 minutes. Remove lobster from pan; cool for 5 minutes. Remove meat from cooked lobster tails, reserving shells. Chop meat. Place shells in a large zip-top plastic bag. Coarsely crush shells using a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Return crushed shells to the broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Strain shell mixture through a sieve over a bowl, reserving broth; discard solids. Return broth mixture to saucepan; keep warm over low heat. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture, and cook for 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 2 tablespoons broth mixture. Add the remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 22 minutes total). Remove from heat, and stir in lobster, the reserved 2 tablespoons broth mixture, 2 tablespoons butter, and green peas.
Sustainable Choice: The American lobster population is well managed in Canada and the U.S.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
374
Fat:
10.7g (sat 5.8g,mono 2.6g,poly 0.9g)
Protein:
24.7g
Carbohydrate:
44.4g
Fiber:
4.1g
Cholesterol:
80mg
Iron:
2mg
Sodium:
620mg
Calcium:
63mg

5 comments:

Dangrdafne said...

1) As much as I love WeeOne, I still will not have children just to have a stirrer for my risotto or anything else I might cook :)

2) I like lobster but I can't eat it.

3) That Lobster Risotto looks amazing and exactly like what I love to eat... except for #2 above.

sallyricks said...

Risotto is one of my favorite meals, even plain mixed with a generous amount of parmesan regiano cheese. It can't be too creamy for me! It's my annual New Year's Day dinner tradition. We experiment with different kinds each year, so this lobster risotto looks like just the thing for 2012!

I'm not sure I'm willing to procreate JUST for a kitchen helper though. I just assume I can count the stirring effort as my gym credit for the week ;)

AGirlintheSouth said...

Daf- I didn't mean the procreation thing LITERALLY...just saying it was nice to give my arm a break!

I think Sally's got the right idea - just count it as an arm workout! ;D

I agree that Risotto can't be too creamy and parm is a great cheese for that. I'd like to play around with some other flavors in this using gruyere and maybe some sort of sausage? Not sure yet...Thanks, ladies for your thoughts -

Jen (P.E.'s Ho) said...

Oh my goodness gracious. This looks FAB. My Mama makes a butternut squash risotto that you top with pan fried prosciutto and mushrooms that is out of this world. I love love love risotto. Since I'm not a huge fan of english peas, do you think I could substitute asparagus or some other green vegetable?

I am enjoying your blog so much. You make the best looking stuff. Can I come eat with you and the WeeOne someday? :)

Thanks for sharing!! I'm adding this one to my to-do list.

AGirlintheSouth said...

Jen - I think you could sub any green vegetable or any veg that would go well with Lobster - so your call. As for cooking with the Weeone and me? You're welcome in Houston anytime....just bring your Pocket Eddie! ;D