Emeril's One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party: Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
So here we are kids… the last day of the Emeril One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party. It's been a challenge, it's been hectic, it's been delicious, and it's been fun. I've met some new foodies because of this project and discovered some new food blogs. I'm still blown away by some of your photography, fellow food bloggers. It's also fun to see so many other people cook dinner like I do on a regular basis. I'm used to being surrounded by people that continually act shocked when I tell them what I made for dinner the night before. Then they're even more shocked when they see a picture of it, plated in a pretty way like you'd find at a restaurant. I've personally never understood why more people don't spend more time making dinner and taking the extra minute to make it look pretty on the plate. The cooking process is so therapeutic, so relaxing, and such a great creative outlet. The plating of the food is like finishing the painting I've been working on and I'm just putting the finishing touches on it before I want anyone to see it. Everyone loves to dig into a beautiful dish presented to them at a restaurant, but why don't they also do the same at home? I know, I'm not like everyone else and they're not like me and that's fine. I just think if more people took the time to try and make some more involved dishes and then plate them in a pretty way, they would feel the same joy I feel on those nights I get the pleasure of cooking dinner at home. So when I meet new food bloggers online, I get to see that I'm not alone in this thinking and I get to admire their food and their cooking skills and it's so much fun for me.
Another great thing that came out of participating in this cooking party is that it forced me to blog a lot more often than I had been, which is a great thing. At first the blogging deadline felt a bit like homework and since I just graduated college after going for the last 6 years, I was pretty far from wanting to do anything resembling homework and "due dates" did not appeal to me. But after I got into it, I really started to enjoy it. Now that the party is over, I plan to keep up the blogging pace so I'm at least sharing a few dishes a week with you. Hold me to it, guys. Kick me in the ass on Twitter (@TaratheFoodie) if you see me slacking. Thanks :-)
Ok, so let's talk about this last dish that I chose to make from Emeril's new cookbook, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders. Not that this will be anywhere close to the last dish I make from this book, but it is the last official dish made for this blogger party. I look forward to making the oxtail recipe in the very near future, don't you worry.
So with this dish, I again wanted to choose something that would use some ingredients that I already had on hand, which was shrimp and rice. Oh, and shoutout to my boyfriend Mark for stopping at Whole Foods and/or Costco almost every night for the last couple weeks to get me the ingredients I needed for all the different dishes I chose to cook from this book. I really appreciate it. He's the best, gals. ;-)
After the jump, I'll show you how I made this risotto is made. Also, don't forget to check out more recipes cooked for you by my food blogger buddies here:
Bite and Booze and on Facebook here.
Just off the Red Streetcar Line and on Facebook here.
Diabetic Foodie and on Facebook here.
Tracey's Culinary Adventures and on Facebook here.
The Boys Made Me Do It! and on Facebook here.
Mommy Hates Cooking and on Facebook here.
Farmgirl Gourmet and on Facebook here.
Cajun Chef Ryan and on Facebook here.
Savoring Today and on Facebook here.
Not Rachael Ray and on Facebook here.
Miss in the Kitchen and on Facebook here.
30AEATS and on Facebook here.
Foodhunters Guide to Cuisine and on Facebook here.
Thyme in our Kitchen and on Facebook here.
Cooking with Books and on Facebook here.
Goov-y Foody and on Facebook here.
Manges! Mangi! and on Facebook here.
The Wicked Noodle and on Facebook here.
Cookistry and on Facebook here.
Also, check out Emeril's Facebook page here: Emeril Lagasse and follow him on Twitter here: @Emeril and check out Emeril's publishing company, Morrow Publishing, blogging here: The Secret Ingredient, and on Twitter here: @MorrowCooks, and on Facebook here: Morrow Cooks.
Start by blanching a bunch of asparagus cut into 1/2 inch pieces for just a minute and a half. Then shock the asparagus in ice water to stop the cooking.
Next, it's time to make your own shrimp stock. Yep, you're not using boxed chicken stock this time… you're making your own damn stock. Ehhh, stop whining. I didn't want to do it either, but after actually doing it, it really wasn't that hard and didn't take too long to do and I have to say it's worth it because it gives this dish that extra depth of shrimp flavor that I really loved. So suck it up and just do it.
So when you're de-shelling and de-veining your shrimp, SAVE THOSE SHELLS!
To make the stock, toast the shrimp shells in some olive oil for three or four minutes until they're fragrant and turn a pinky brown.
Next, add some onion, carrot, celery, smashed garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, and water and bring it all to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes. Flavor the stock with salt at the end.
Then just pour the whole thing through a strainer so you're just left with your homemade shrimp stock. Put the pot of stock back on the burner on low heat to keep it hot so you can use it in the risotto. Good job.
Ok, time to make the shrimp…. in a bowl, combine the shrimp with some Emeril's Original Essence seasoning and some salt and toss to coat.
Then cook the shrimp in some butter just a minute on each side. Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside.
Now to make the risotto. Add some butter and olive oil to your pan, then saute shallot and garlic for a few minutes.
Then add the dry rice and stir to combine and toast in the pan.
After a few minutes, add some white wine, stir and cook that for a couple more minutes. This is the method you always use to start any risotto… build up some flavor, then add the dry rice to toast it a bit. Then it's time to start adding liquid little by little to allow the rice to slowly soak up the liquid as it cooks up all tender and creamy. Once you learn how to make risotto, you can make any kind of risotto your little head can dream up. It's a great way to use up leftovers, so keep that in mind.
So this is how your risotto making station should look. Your big wide pan for stirring and creating your risotto, your wooden spoon, and your pot of hot liquid with your ladle ready to transport it little by little into your risotto.
So once you've added enough shrimp stock and the rice has reached a creamy and tender consistency (taste some of the rice to see if it's al dente), then it's time to add in the rest of your ingredients and finish it off. Here are some more pics of the risotto process...
Add your fresh herbs, lemon zest, and pepper. Stir and taste to make sure there's enough salt. If there isn't, add a little more now. Now add the shrimp, asparagus, and some of the Parmesan cheese. Stir up to combine and watch your risotto turn into the stuff dreams are made of. Continue to cook and stir for a few more minutes, just long enough to heat the asparagus and shrimp back up. Then serve up your risotto in a bowl topped with some more Parmesan cheese. Now pour a little more of that white wine into a glass, walk your butt into the living room, turn on your favorite show, get under that blanket, and enjoy :-)
Thanks to all my readers for hanging with me during this project and I'm sorry I couldn't share the actual recipes from the book or believe me I would. I really do think it's a great cookbook and worth the money you'd spend on it if you do choose to buy it. But if not, I will be back soon in my next post and thereafter with more of my culinary creations and concoctions... recipes and all :-)
Have a great weekend!