As I mentioned earlier Cliff and I were able to get away for a few days to Mexico. It was heavenly! We stayed at an all-inclusive resort. Sometimes the restaurants at all-inclusives can be hit or miss. This was a smaller resort and it only had 3 restaurants. 1 buffet with a nightly theme, 1 Asian, and 1 Italian. We had heard that the Italian was far superior to the other restaurants but we tired them all anyway. We should have just gone to the Italian every night! I grew up on Italian food and we eat a lot of Italian food but we both really liked the Italian restaurant, El Mirador. One night I ordered champagne risotto with prawns. I wasn’t sure what I would get. Would it resemble risotto at all? Ha! It was surprisingly good though! I was too full from the bread, soup, and antipasto bar to each much but I was sure to at least eat all of the prawns!
The restaurant had a pretty romantic setting. Kids were not allowed, and they had a violinist playing. It kind of felt like Valentine’s Day! And, I think risotto is the perfect Valentine’s Day meal. Throw in champagne and shrimp and it is a no brainer! This is a perfect, and easy meal to make your significant other for Valentine’s Day. Unless, they don’t like seafood (my husband) then maybe this would be a better choice! I was really happy that the champagne taste came through even though it was cooked. It is perfectly rich and creamy, just like it should be! It you want to be really fancy you could also add Lobster!
Last year we hosted a giveaway with Del Monte. I am happy to announce the winner of the $100 Visa giftcard is Annette! Thanks to all who entered!
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced, separated
1 shallot, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
2 ¼ cup champagne or sparkling wine, separated
3-4 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons butter
½ pound medium peeled shrimp (I used cooked)
squeeze of lemon juice
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and shallots until fragrant; about 3 minutes. Do not burn the garlic. Add the Arborio rice and coat with the oil. Cook another 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of champagne. Allow the rice to absorb the champagne and begin adding the chicken broth ½ cup at a time. Allow the rice to absorb the liquid each time before adding more. Stir often. After adding about 2 cups of the broth add 1 more cup of champagne. Wait for the rice to absorb the liquid before continuing with the broth. Continue stirring often. Once you have added 3 cups of broth taste the rice for doneness. You want the rice to have a little bite. You do not want it to be mush. Continue to add the chicken broth until the rice has just a little bite. When you have added the last of the broth don’t let it fully absorb. You want it to be a little saucy. Remove from heat. Add the heavy cream and cheese. Stir well. Cut the shrimp into small, bite sized pieces. I cut each shrimp into 3 pieces. I kept a few shrimp for each serving of risotto whole. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter with the garlic. Add the last ¼ cup of champagne. Add the shrimp. If you have already cooked shrimp then you just want to heat them and infuse the champagne/garlic/butter flavor. Do not look for long though because they will get rubbery. If your shrimp are raw, heat until fully cooked.This should only take about 3 minutes. Add a little fresh squeezed lemon juice. I used about 1/4 of a lemon. Remove the whole pieces of shrimp. Add the contents of the pan to the risotto and mix well. Garnish each serving with a few whole shrimp.
Source: A Live Love Pasta Original