No-Stir Mushroom Risotto with Seared Shrimp

Guess what, y'all. Food photography is hard. Even Martha Stewart has trouble taking a good food photo on her own. You know what's even harder? When it's December already, and there's only light from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., and you want to take a picture of your 7 p.m. dinner before it gets cold. Whoever heard of such a thing? Sheesh. Anyways, that's really just a long-winded explanation for why there's no photo with this recipe. (Even though it still looks better than Martha's. Sorry, Martha.) 

Instead, here's a picture of Odie, looking cute. Which is what he does best, daylight or no daylight.

No-Stir Mushroom Risotto with Seared Shrimp

Serves 2 with a little left over, but you could easily double or triple the recipe

Until I tried this technique, risotto had eluded me. The idea here is that you get most of the effect of a creamy risotto quicker, and with less work. Sign me up!

For the Risotto:
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 ounces mushrooms
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup short-grain rice, such as Arborio 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Shrimp:
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil or lard, for frying
Lay the shrimp evenly on a couple of paper towels. Put several paper towels on top of them, then weight with a heavy pan, like a cast iron skillet.

Meanwhile, chop the onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper finely. Combine in a small saucepan with the olive oil, and saute until they have released all their liquid and are beginning to dry out. Add the cream, water and a pinch of salt, then bring to a boil. Once the liquid comes to a boil, add the rice, give it a quick stir, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 14-15 minutes, or until al dente.

When there are five minutes left for the rice to cook, combine the cornstarch and sea salt in a shallow bowl. Toss the shrimp in the cornstarch so it is lightly coated. Heat the frying oil in a large skillet until it is almost smoking. Sear the shrimp, about a minute on each side, until they are golden brown, then remove from the pan and drain on fresh paper towels.

When the rice has finished cooking, add the butter and cheese, stirring vigorously so the melt evenly into the rice. 

Serve the rice in a shallow bowl topped with the shrimp. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve while it's still piping hot. 

If you have any leftover rice, you can make fried rice balls the next day. The possibilities are endless, but the basic idea is to heat up some oil, 

Season some breadcrumbs...

Form the rice into balls (some recipes even have you stuff them with cheese...yum!)

Roll those balls in the breadcrumbs...

Then fry.

Any way you slice it, it's good! Enjoy!

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