I absolutely love risotto but I have never had any luck making it in my own kitchen. I pulled the shrimp out Monday afternoon and mentally started pepping myself up for it. You know – you can do it, rah rah rah, confidence is everything. Doesn’t everybody do that right before they cook dinner?

I had frozen, uncooked shrimp on hand and, literally, as I was pouring the proper serving size into a bowl to thaw, Alan called. He wanted Martin and I to go out to dinner with him and his girlfriend! Having never met her before, and not seen Alan in a month or so, I readily agreed. We decided to go out and that effectively put a hold on shrimp risotto.

The next day, I tried again. And oh boy! I will never have to wait until we go to an Italian restaurant to eat risotto again! It came out exactly the way I hoped, all creamy with a little bite to it, and spiced just the way I want. I think there might have been enough for 4 servings, but Martin and I liked it so much, we pigged and ATE IT ALL. That’s right, there were no leftovers in our apartment that night!

Now I want to make risotto all the time! I am drunk off my success! But I think my waistline would appreciate it if I did not, so I might abstain … for a week. Okay, really, maybe 3 days.

A couple of hints this time that Alex gave me that I think contributed to my success:

– Warm up the broth. Keeping everything at around the same temperature helps to prevent the cooking process from stalling.

Actually, that’s the best and only hint I took away from him. But I thought it was a good one. Also, another one is: make sure you don’t listen to Alex when he tells you 2 cups of chicken broth. Because that would be wrong. And it will prevent you from tasting your rice, reflecting on how crunchy it tastes and how it probably needs more broth and scrambling to heat up your refrigerated chicken broth very quickly.

With that, here is shrimp risotto. Obviously, spicing and ingredients are to taste and it’s easy to customize this dish to your own. But here is what I did for mine.

Oh, and another note: Because I like bite-sized food, I cut my shrimp up into smaller pieces. But, of course, that’s not necessary.

Shrimp Risotto

1 lb. extra large shrimp
1 cup Arborio rice
1 large onion
3 tbsp. butter
Olive oil
4+ cups chicken broth
½ cup white wine (optional)
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream

1- If shrimp is frozen, defrost. Peel and devein.

2- Finely dice onion.

3- In large skillet, melt butter. When butter is bubbly, add a little bit of olive oil.

4- Add onion to skillet and sauté until onion is translucent.

5- Add rice and let toast, 5+ minutes or until rice starts sticking to the skillet, and has turned a nice golden brown color.

6- Add wine here, if desired. If adding wine, remove from heat temporarily. Let rice absorb wine.

7- When rice has absorbed wine, add 1 cup chicken broth. Let absorb.

8- Keep adding broth slowly, until all the broth has been used or risotto has reached desired consistency. Taste to test.

9- When almost ready to serve, throw in shrimp. Let cook fully.

10- Add cheese, pepper to taste and other spices. Add cream. Stir to combine.

11- Plate, let rest for 2 minutes and serve.

Servings: Should be 4, was 2

Can I have some more? Right now? Please?