Introduction: Simple Prawn(shrimp) Risotto (How Not to Make Crunchy Rice Stew)

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Here's a straight forward recipe for a risotto, cooked in the traditional way. Its a family favourite, originally taken from the book "Risotto, Risotto" by Valentina Harris. We never get tired of this book !

Risotto has a reputation for being "difficult" or time consuming - Preparing, cooking and serving this one takes about 35 minutes, so go figure.

Step 1: Ingredients

1 medium sized onion, VERY finely chopped
75g (3oz) (stick and half)  of unsalted butter.
400g (14oz) Arborio rice (whatever, use a good risotto rice, not a long-grain)
1/2 bottle of dry white wine (no alcohol will be left at the end of the recipe)
1 litre (1.75 UK pints) of fish/chicken/vegetable stock
450g (1 lb) of cooked prawns
50 g (2oz) of parmesan cheese.
2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley.
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper.

Step 2: Method Pt 1

Fry of the  onion in half the butter until soft.
Str in the rice until it is opaque and really hot. You can hear the rice crackle slightly.
Stir in one glass of wine,  flash off the rice until the alcohol has boiled off, and add the rest of the wine.


Step 3: Method Pt II. the Magic.

Now the bit people are scared of, often drowning the dish. Adding the liquid slowly is critical to getting the perfect creamy texture from the dish. It can't be rushed, but it really doesn't take that long.

We keep the pan of stock hot, but not boiling vigorously on an adjacent ring of the hob.

Add a ladle full of stock at a time AND LET THE RICE ABSORB IT.

Continue until you have say 1 ladle full left.

Add the prawns, stir thoroughly, and finish adding the stock.

At the end of the process, the rice should still be very slightly firm to the bite.

Step 4: Finishing

This bit finishes the risotto for serving.

Take off the heat, and stir in the parmesan, the parsley and the butter.

COVER and leave for  2 minutes before serving.

The final dish should be creamy, but with the rice retaining its character in the dish.

Step 5: Enjoy !