For Christmas Eve, we decided to do something with seafood. Last year, we made a cioppino. We don’t have a post specifically about that night, but we had made it early that summer and wrote about it then.
Instead of fish stock, I used Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock and I omitted the clam juice. I find that sometimes with seafood recipes, adding fish stock and/or clam juice can make a dish taste a little too fishy. Using the vegetable stock gave it a richer, darker taste but it totally worked. I made half the quantity of the Saveur recipe since it was just for the two of us. I didn’t halve the garlic because garlic and I went a little more than half on the butter. I also added bay scallops.
I ended up using:
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/8 cup dry white wine
3/4 cups packed baby spinach
1/8 cup grated parmesan
1/8 cup heavy cream
10 hard-shell clams, such as littleneck or Manila, scrubbed
8 raw 16-20 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 lb. bay scallops
salt and pepper
olive oil for cooking the shrimp
The Saveur recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp. paprika and 1/4 tsp. cayenne for the full recipe. I used both regular paprika and smoked paprika as well as the cayenne. I didn’t measure but put enough to evenly coat the shrimp.
And, of course, salt and pepper.
I warmed the stock and then fried up the garlic and shallots in the butter for 3-4 minutes. Then I added the risotto for another 3-4 minutes before adding the wine and cooked for another couple of minutes.
Then, I added the stock 1/2 cup at a time until the risotto absorbed each 1/2 cup. I kept the heat fairly low so that it took about 5-6 minutes for each round of the stock to absorb. This is just an average since the stock gets absorbed more quickly the first couple of times.
I went a bit light on the last 1/2 cup and reserved a little of the stock to add in with the parmesan, heavy cream, spinach and salt and pepper. I stirred that up just enough to make sure everything got incorporated and then stirred in the scallops. I brought the risotto up to a light simmer and then put the clams on top and covered the pot.
Meanwhile, I fried the shrimp in olive oil over medium high heat. The original recipe calls for grilling the shrimp.
The clams are done once they open. I took them out and set them aside. I spooned out the risotto into 2 bowls, returned the clams and added the shrimp.
I recipe calls for lime wedges as a garnish. I remembered to buy a lime but forgot to add it.
Cutting the recipe in half was perfect for 2 people and the addition of the scallops gave it a little extra something special. It was a great way to kick off our winter break.