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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paella Risotto with Shrimp, Scallops and Crab

I love paella. And risotto. So, then comes the next logical step: combining them into a single luscious dish.

I took a few liberties with this paella risotto, using a recipe from Bon Appetit as inspiration and adapting it to my taste. Traditionally, paella incorporates mussels and/or clams. But I decided to go with shrimp, crab and scallops -- ingredients one often finds in risotto. I wanted to preserve the Spanish sensibility of paella, so I included traditional ingredients such as chorizo, saffron and smoked paprika. And I included some anchovies, tomato paste and orange zest to add depth.

The result is a smoky, sultry, creamy dish. The lightness of the seafood and zest balances the heft of the sausage and rice. The saffron perfumes the dish and the anchovy and tomato pastes and paprika create a complex backdrop. Give it a try!

Paella Risotto

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound chorizo, casings removed
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced

32 oz. fish stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 bay leaf

2 cups arborio rice

1 tablespoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 cup dry white wine
3 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 pound uncooked medium peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 pound scallops, sliced in half if large
1/2 pound crab meat, picked over
5 oz frozen peas

1 tablespoon orange zest

Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook for a couple of minutes, breaking up with a spatula. Add shallots, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste, and continue to saute for a total of five to seven minutes.

Meantime, combine fish stock, bay leaf and saffron in a small saucepan over medium until simmering, reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Add arborio rice to the sausage mixture and stir for two minutes. Stir in anchovy and tomato pastes and paprika.

Add wine, stirring constantly for about three minutes until wine evaporates. Stir in thyme. Add warm fish stock by ladlefuls, allow to reduce and continue to stir until rice is tender and liquid is creamy, about 20-25 minutes.

Mix shrimp, scallops, crab and peas into risotto and combine gently until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle zest on dish and serve.

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