I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do when I find a recipe that looks good is scan the ingredient list to see if it calls for anything crazy. Sometimes I’ll make an effort to expand my horizons, but if a recipe calls for three or four things I’ve never cooked with or seen in a grocery store, I’ll usually pass. Same thing with unfamiliar cooking techniques or terms. And if a recipe tells me to stir “until just mixed” or screams “DO NOT OVERMIX” like the future of Western civilization depends on my stirring technique, I’m out. I don’t need that kind of pressure in my life.
So as you can imagine, the first time I came across this seafood risotto recipe a few years ago, I hesitated to save it. It called for all kinds of unfamiliar ingredients: clam juice, shallots, saffron threads, scallops…even the standard risotto-making technique was unfamiliar to me. But since then I’ve learned that you can find bay scallops in the freezer section (they’re super easy to cook and can be unthawed in a snap by running cool water over them for a couple of minutes)…and that shallots are basically just fancy onions that are right there in the produce section (confession: I googled “what do shallots look like?”)…and that making a risotto is basically just lots of stirring, which I find peaceful and calming after a long day at work. So I figured it was time to tackle this seafood risotto.
Boy am I glad I did. This was De.Lic.Ious. Finding clam juice was NBD – it was in a little bottle in the international aisle of the grocery store, near the Asian food (and apparently it has no calories! Hurrah!). And the saffron threads were just as easy; I found them in a little jar in the spice aisle. After the hunting and gathering for ingredients, this recipe comes together pretty easily – a little chopping, a little stirring, and that’s about it. Here’s the recipe:
SEAFOOD RISOTTO (Adapted from Cooking Light)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 8-ounce bottle of clam juice (found in supermarket international aisle)
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/8 tsp saffron threads, crushed (found in spice aisle)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
10-15 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (frozen and thawed is fine)
1 cup bay scallops (frozen and thawed is fine)
1-2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Combine broth and clam juice and keep warm, either by simmering on stovetop or microwaving on medium power.
- Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add rice and saffron threads, cooking 1 minute and stirring constantly. Add lemon juice, cooking 1 minute and stirring constantly. Stir in about 1/2 cup of the broth mixture and cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes or until broth is nearly absorbed by rice. Add remaining broth mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion is nearly absorbed. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Once all broth has been absorbed, add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Stir in shrimp and scallops and cook for 4-5 minutes or until shrimp and scallops are done, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Sprinkle with parsley (if desired) and serve hot. Serves 2.
This turned out so creamy and tasty – especially given the relatively small amount of butter and cream. The saffron threads also gave it a nice, bright color. My husband and I gobbled this up!