This dish is one of the first ways I created risotto, and it’s a great mix so has become a regular standard in our kitchen. It’s easy, doesn’t take a lot of time, is cheap, and very flavorful. I learned how to make risotto a couple of years ago watching one of the first espisodes of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen”. Yes, I learned by watching a TV show and by watching Ramsay yell at people for not making the pea risotto correctly. It’s really not that hard, despite the fact that no one on the show can ever seem to do it right. Risotto just requires some love and care and babysitting. That’s it. Now being that I saw this being made on Hell’s Kitchen, it’s not like there is a published recipe for it. As I have made this I have developed a pretty standardized recipe though that consistently works and brings a lot of flavor. Here is my take:
Ingredients (4 servings):
4 cups vegetable broth, more if need be.
1 cup milk, heated on stove
1 lb. frozen peas
2 tbs EVOO
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine (white wine works better than sherry with this dish, so it’s ok to be a little unorthodox)
1 lb. cooked shrimp
1/2 cup chopped parsley
fresh ground pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, mix 2 cups of broth and 3/4 of the peas together and heat up til peas are thawed. Then puree together in a food processor. Return to sauce pan, and add in 2 more cups of broth so it’s at a low simmer. If you end up needing more broth, just add more to the pan to simmer.
2. In a large saute pot (I use a 3qt – it’s important to have surface area here) – saute shallots and garlic in EVOO. Once translucent, add in the rice, and cook until just brown.
3. Deglaze with white wine and turn heat down to medium.
4. Add in broth mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed into the rice. Once 4 cups of broth are added, then switch to adding in the milk. This is unconventional I know, but it just help it make the risotto a little bit creamier After, if you need more broth, put more in the pot and add until the rice is soft. You don’t want al dente rice. You want soft melt in your mouth rice.
5. In a small skillet, saute the shrimp quickly to heat them up
6. Add in the rest of the peas into the risotto, to give it some bright green color.
7. Dish up risotto, top with shrimp, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and pepper. If you want, you can add in some cheese too, but I find it really doesn’t need it.