Friday, May 9, 2014

Red Curry Risotto with Thai Shrimp and Aspargus

Dinner tonight was an exercise in time and space management. The meal came together in about 45 minutes. All of the steps involved were fairly easy. But there was a lot to keep track of. I also did not seem to have enough space to broil the shrimp and asparagus at the same time. And sadly, the constant barrage of rain kept the grill at bay. This added some stress to the time management aspect. I opted to broil the asparagus first, tenting with foil afterwards to keep the spears warm until I was ready to plate them. The hot risotto spooned over the top helped bring the spears back up to temp.

Best plan of attack: create a mise-en-scène...laying out all of your ingredients and utensils. Start the risotto and get it to that first ladelful of broth. Start the shrimp marinading. Continue stirring the risotto. Broil the asparagus. Skewer the shrimp. Continue stirring risotto. Broil the shrimp. Plate. Serve.

Collapse into the chair after that marathon of planning and prep to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

risotto adapted from Pretty Little Dishes
the shrimp and asparagus preparation are my own

serves 4

The Ingredients
for the risotto:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely diced red onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups aborio rice
3/4 cup kolsch beer (or white wine)
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp red curry paste
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt to taste

for the shrimp:
1 lb large shrimp (31-35 count), peeled and de-veined
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp peanut butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp brown sugar

for the asparagus
1 lb aspagus, trimmed
coarse salt

The Process:
for the risotto
In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock to a gentle simmer.  Keep warm.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic. Sauté over medium high heat until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the flaked coconut and rice, stir to coat evenly.

Slowly pour in the kolsch.  Lower heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring continuously.  Once the beer has been absorbed, add the warm stock, one ladleful at a time, allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next.  Patience is key.  Stir gently and continuously. 

After about half of the stock has been used, stir in the coconut milk and red curry paste, mixing until well combined.
Awww...curry, I love you too!
Continue to add the broth, one ladelful at a time.  After the last ladle of stock has been absorbed, and the rice is creamy in texture and slightly al dente, add the butter. Season with salt to taste. Remove the risotto from the heat. Cover and let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.

for the shrimp:
Rinse the shrimp and set aside.

Whisk the remaining ingredients together to create a thick marinade. Place shrimp in a shallow bowl or zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over, coating the shrimp completely. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate at least 15 minutes, but no longer than an hour.

Preheat the broiler or grill. Remove the shrimp from the marinade. Thread onto skewers, about 4-5 per skewer. Broil or grill until shrimp are opaque and slightly charred, 3-4 minutes per side

for the asparagus
Preheat the broiler.

Lightly oil a baking sheet and spread out the asparagus in a single layer. Generously sprinkle with coarse salt. Broil 8-10 minutes, flipping once, or until the asparagus is tender and beginning to char.

to serve:
Divide the asparagus among four dinner plates, arranging the spears in a single, parallel layer. Spoon a generous scoop of risotto down the center of the spears. Top with two skewers of shrimp and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

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