Shrimp and Leek Risotto

True, Parmesan and seafood aren’t natural bedfellows, but both add richness in this surprisingly friendly pairing. Plump sea scallops would be an equally spectacular substitution if you want to go all-out.

Casey Barber

Shrimp and Leek Risotto

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    3 small leeks or 1 large leek 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
    3 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup white wine, at room temperature
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 12 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    1 large clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
    Kosher salt 1 tablespoon minced chives


    Prep: 15 min Total:
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    • 1

      Clean and prep the leeks by trimming the roots and dark green leaves from the stalks, then slit each in half lengthwise and thoroughly swish each half in a large bowl of water to remove any sand and sediment that might be stuck between the root layers, gently frilling them apart with your thumbs. Pat dry and slice each half into 1/8-inch thick half-moons.

    • 2

      In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.

    • 3

      In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic, and sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt evenly over the vegetables. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to caramelize.

    • 4

      Add the rice and stir well for 2 minutes to gently toast.

    • 5

      Stir in the wine and simmer until nearly evaporated.

    • 6

      Add 1/2 cup of the warm chicken broth to the rice and stir gently and frequently until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as the rice continues to cook and absorb liquid.

    • 7

      After 15-20 minutes, most of the broth should be absorbed and the rice should taste tender and chewy but slightly firm to the bite. There will still be a good amount of sauce in the pan with the rice; risotto isn’t fluffy and dry like a pilaf, but retains a slightly soupy texture.

    • 8

      Before you add your last ladleful of broth, stir in the shrimp to cook through as the liquid is absorbed.

    • 9

      Season the risotto with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the remaining butter, the Parmesan, parsley, and chives, and serve immediately.

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