Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Crab Radicchio Risotto

Copyright 2008 by Cooking With The Single Guy

Meat from one cooked Dungeness crab
1 cup radicchio, shredded
½ sweet onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 small glass of dry white wine
1-1/2 cups of shrimp stock or vegetable broth (or 14 oz. can)
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t thyme, dried
2 T unsalted butter
olive oil
sea salt to taste

Get your whole Dungeness crab and clean it if your fish monger hasn’t done that for you already. Then crack the shell and legs to remove the meat. (If you prefer, you can pay more and buy lump crab meat.) Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat and add onion and garlic. Cook for about two minutes until onions are translucent, making sure not to brown the garlic. Add rice and stir with onions, letting the heat toast the rice for about a minute. Turn heat to medium and add wine and cook until most of it evaporates. Then start adding in the stock, using a ladle to add two scoops (about ¾ cup) to start. Add the radicchio and thyme. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and adding two ladles of stock along the way as the stock gets absorbed, until rice is al dente, or almost done.

Remove saucepan from the fire and stir in butter and cheese. Stir in crab, reserving a few nice whole pieces for the top to garnish. Add salt to your taste. Let risotto sit for about a minute, then plate. Garnish with some whole crab pieces and more parmesan shavings and something green like some diced Italian parsley.

Makes two servings. Serve with small green salad and garlic bread.

Pair with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

TIPS: If you get a live Dungeness crab, you can clean it yourself and cook it by boiling or steaming it for about 15 minutes. Check out my video on how to clean a live crab.

REVIEW OF RISOTTO: Risotto rice makes this dish unique with its short grain and creamy texture. So you can’t substitute it with the typical long-grain rice or even Japanese sushi rice. But you do have choices. There are three main Italian rice to make risotto: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. Arborio is the one most widely available outside of Italy and can be easily found in any grocery store. It consistently cooks in 15 minutes and produces a nice cream. But don’t be afraid to experiment with Carnaroli and Vialone Nano if you spot them on a gourmet store shelf. They both cook a bit longer, but Carnaroli grains keep more of their shape so it’s a nice choice if you don’t like your risotto too mushy. Vialone Nano is creamier if you want to go the other direction.

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