Monday, December 9, 2013

Cory's Roasted Tomato & Tiger Shrimp Risotto

My friends Cory and Richard have enormous hearts, and when they entertain, they do so with great generosity and unquestionable culinary flourish. This past weekend was no different. Starting with martinis and an array of appetizers, Cory created a sumptuous dinner menu that was both decadent and delicious, starting with Roasted Tomato & Tiger Shrimp Risotto and followed by Rack of Lamb, Crispy Smashed New Potatoes and Swiss Chard. As with any dinner party, timing is everything, and doing much of the prep before hand is often the recipe for success. Case in point: Cory's Risotto.

The arborio rice mixture can be par-cooked and cooled on a baking sheet, 
allowing the risotto to be finished quickly when guests are expected

Cooking the risotto halfway, then removing the rice from the pot and spreading it out thinly on a baking sheet to cool as quickly as possible, means that the risotto can be finished when the time is right — a technique often used in restaurants. Pre-roasting the tomatoes and marinating the tiger shrimp earlier in the day, also helped make the final home stretch of Cory's Risotto much easier to time and coordinate with the rest of the meal, and resulted in yet another Gosnell culinary home run!

Halve the plum tomatoes and place them on parchment paper, 
then drizzle with olive oil and dot with salt and pepper

Roasted for about and hour, the tomatoes become enormously full flavoured

Tiger shrimp marinated in olive oil, dried basil, slat and pepper

Sautéed in butter

The shrimps are done when they are almost cooked through

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

The par-cooked arborio mixture is returned to the pot with additional wine, 
warm stock and the roasted tomatoes

Cooked gently over moderate heat, the risotto must be stirred constantly, with additional liquid added until the desired consistency is reached

Butter and Parmigiano are added before serving for added richness

The table was beautifully set with a gorgeous arrangement from 'In Bloom' 

Cory's Roasted Tomato & Tiger Shrimp Risotto
Serves 6

Roasted Tomatoes:
7 ripe plum tomatoes, washed, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12-18 tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp dried basil or tarragon

5 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 head celery, finely chopped
1 lb arborio rice
2 cups dry white wine or vermouth
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp of butter
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
Fresh chives or basil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the tomatoes together in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and lightly caramelized. Transfer the tomatoes to a small bowl and using a fork, crush lightly into they break apart; set aside.

Prepare the shrimp by placing them into a bowl, adding a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and dried basil; set aside.

Warm the stock in a large pot and keep on a low simmer. In a separate heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the butter and two tablespoons of olive oil, then add the onions, garlic and celery, and sauté very slowly until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the arborio rice and stir until it is coated with butter, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, stirring constantly until most of the wine has been absorbed by the rice. Season with the salt and pepper.

Add the hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock and stirring to release the starch from the rice. Begin to check the rice for doneness after 18 minutes, it should be al dente. Towards the end of the cooking process, add the roasted tomatoes and stir well into the risotto. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, you can always add some boiling water.

Meanwhile, sauté the shrimp in a small skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil and butter over medium heat, and gently cook until the shrimp are opaque and almost cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.

To finish, remove the risotto from the heat and add the butter and half of the Parmesan, stirring well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. To serve, spoon the risotto into pre-warmed dinner bowls and top each with 2-3 shrimp and garnish with fresh chives or basil. Serve the remaining Parmigiano in a small bowl on the table, for guests to help themselves.