Asparagus Risotto with Seared Shrimp
Enjoy this delicious recipe for a classic Spring dish: Asparagus Risotto. The creamy Risotto is paired perfectly with seared Shrimp and complemented with a shrimp bisque essence. In fact, in this recipe you learn how to prepare this classic but little known cooking base, the shrimp bisque essence. Try this delicacy and enjoy!
Vegetable stock (18 cups)
300 gr (10.5 oz) Carnaroli rice
800 gr (1.7 lbs) fresh shrimp (heads on, shells on)
450 gr (1 lb) fresh asparagus
1 garlic clove
Pinch of ground chili pepper
Shrimp bisque (sauce):
Shrimp heads and shells
1 peeled carrot (chopped in cubes)
1 peeled shallot (chopped in cubes)
½ tbsp of tomato paste
Clean the shrimp as follows: remove their shells (carapace) and their heads, then, by using a knife, cut off the eyes of the heads and dispose of them. Set aside the heads and the shells (we will need them for the bisque). Now clean the rest of the shrimp, by using a knife, clean their backs by carving out their entrails. Store the fresh cleaned shrimp in the refrigerator.
Heat on medium-heat 2 tbsp of EVOO in a medium-sized sauté pan, then add the shrimp shells and heads. Sauté on medium-heat and squeeze them by using a meat mallet, so that their heads will release the juices. Add the chopped carrot and shallot. Stir and let them brown on medium heat for 5 minutes. Now you can add the ice cubes (approx. 20 pieces). Let the ice melt, and once melted, add the ½ tbsp of tomato paste. Stir and let cook for 10-15 minutes, then turn the burner off and strain so that you will get a smooth stock. Pour this stock in a saucepan, then reduce the mixture on low heat to a sauce. This should take 25-30 minutes. This produces your “bisque”. Set aside the shrimp “bisque”.
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil.
Rinse the asparagus under cold running water. Cut off the bottom 1/3 off their stems and discard. Then, cut them in half and chop them in tiny strips. Add a mashed garlic clove to a medium-sized sauté pan, drizzle EVOO and add a pinch of chili pepper. Brown on medium-heat for 1 minute, then remove the garlic and place the asparagus strips into the pan. Stir, season with salt and cook for 10-15 minutes, adding small ladles of vegetable stock a little bit at a time. Once cooked, blend the asparagus with an immersion blender to get to a smooth asparagus cream (save some asparagus tips before you use the immersion blender for the final garnishment and set them aside). Set aside to cream.
Heat a medium-sized non-stick pan, and when really hot, add the shrimp, and sear them on both sides (approx. 1 minute per side). Set aside.
Now heat a medium-sized saucepan, then add the rice. Toast the rice on medium-low heat for 1 minute, then start adding ladles of vegetable stock (go a ladle at a time). Once you get to 2/3 of the indicated cooking time from the package, add the asparagus cream and toss. Keep on stirring and adding ladles of vegetable stock. When completely cooked, turn the burner off, add a ladle of vegetable stock, stir and let rest for 2 minutes.
While the rice is settling, reheat the shrimp bisque and the seared shrimp.
Serve by laying two ladles of risotto onto a plate. Garnish with the seared shrimp, the asparagus tips and some drops of the delicious shrimp bisque.
This dish pairs perfectly with a glass of Pecorino DOP wine!