lobster risotto – break the rules and watch the magic happen

Lobster Risotto is my husband, Ralph’s signature dish which our family requests on special occasions. Because Ralph only gets to cook when I’m working, I had actually never watched his process before this past Saturday night. When Kaitie asked him to make it, he agreed as long as I didn’t interfere. Apparently, I can be a pain in the butt!

I was fascinated watching him so carefully and incorrectly prepare his risotto. He was clever to have me agree to saying nothing. The first misstep happened when he started toasting the arborio rice. Attempting nonchalance, I asked, “why?” Without skipping a beat he said, “it will give me the color and nutty flavour I want in the end.” He had my complete attention!

Next deviation was adding the raw pressed garlic to the cooking risotto; “in addition to frying the garlic and mellowing it out, I also want to poach some garlic to punch up the flavour.” He was killing me in such a good way!

The third wonderful, incorrect step was when he added the cold lobster juice. “I want to slow down the cook time so that the lobster heats up slowly and the shrimp cook gently.”

His Lobster Risotto technique breaks with convention but his logic is bang on. The risotto was creamy, rich and perfectly cooked. This is how magic happens!

LOBSTER RISOTTO – serves 4 – 6

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 lbs frozen lobster meat, juice reserved
  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup grated Reggiano – Parmigiano

THE STEPS:

  1. Heat the stock over medium high heat until it comes to a boil then reduce heat to low to keep the stock at a strong simmer.
  2. Using a wide bottomed skillet, place over medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil and butter.
  3. When the butter has melted and is frothing in the olive oil, add finely chopped shallot and garlic and cook very slowly for about 5 minutes without colouring them.
  4. When the vegetables have softened and are opaque, add the arborio rice and increase the heat slightly to just above medium.
  5. The rice will begin to lightly sizzle, so keep stirring it. Allow the rice to toast for 7 minutes, stirring constantly but gently. You want it to color slightly.
  6. Add your first ladle of hot stock. Reduce the heat to a simmer so the rice can absorb the stock at an even pace. Keep adding ladles of stock, stirring and allowing each ladle to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 – 20 minutes. Half way through the stock, using a garlic press, add the pressed garlic to the risotto. Discard the outer skin left in the press.
  7. When the stock has been completely added, pour in the reserved lobster broth, lobster and jumbo shrimp.
  8. Test the rice to make sure it’s cooked. If not, add a bit more stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan.
  10. Serve immediately.

Stay safe. XO