Monday, January 14, 2013

Seafood Risotto with Crab, Truffle Cream & Lemon Zest


Tonight I made a seafood risotto with crab, black truffle cream, and lemon zest. The secret to risotto, as Maria told me, is stirring: usa il cucchiao...sempre. Use your spoon...always; keep stirring.

Maria was the cook for the Nuzzo family who was ordered to teach me all her recipes. Then she was fired and I was tasked with cooking for the family six days a week. Thankfully she didn't blame me for the impossible situation and we stayed close throughout the year that I was there. And sometimes when I cook, I hear her instructions in my head.

Make risotto with whatever you have on hand! Tonight I used kale, herbs, pancetta, squid, scallops, and shrimp...and topped it with some crab from a friend's friend. Thanks, Bret!

And thanks, my love, for cleaning the crabs for me. I helped; I poured him an oatmeal stout.

I stirred in some black truffle cream and tossed some lemon zest on top to make the flavors really sing.

For the risotto: saute your ingredients - greens, seafood, whatever - in a large flat-bottom pot in a splash of olive oil until cooked through. Stir in the arborio rice - one handful per person you're serving and un'altro per la pentola (an extra for the pot). Maria's voice again.

Add one ladle of simmering broth at a time, stirring, stirring, and stirring some more till the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the rice is soft. Let stand for 5 minutes. Season with sea salt to taste. Stir in marscarpone cheese. Serve with shreds or shavings of cheese and, as I mentioned, tonight I added in the earthiness of truffles and the sourness of lemons. Che squisito!

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