In my defense, we found live lobster at the market for $6/lb and we’re in that Holiday bubble. You know what I’m talking about…the kids are home, we’re all high on too much sugar, too much gluwine and too much food. So adding some more won’t hurt a bit! Or so I’m telling myself.
The reality is when the first of the year comes rolling in and reality bites, the bills come rolling in and the lbs go reeling up – is NOT the time to make this dish.
So I’m making this now – just in time for that special holiday/New Year’s eve meal. As you see, I can play ostrich in the sand with the best of them!
This risotto got me to sit up and pay attention when I first read the recipe in Molto Mario, years ago. So I am pleased that it is a spin off Batali’s recipe – I have however added my own risotto success techniques because in my opinion, when it comes to somethings, you’ve got to stick with what you know works.
For one, I love a whole lot of flavoring in the risotto – so I added red chili flakes and saffron. Since the flavor base is the stock, I can’t imagine cooking the risotto in water so for seafood, I’m partial to a mix of chicken stock, clam juices and water with other flavoring veggies and herbs thrown in.
Next, I can’t imagine making risotto with a set time in my head – that changes with the age of the rice, it’s quality and the btu’s you’re working with. I know that on my no-frills gas burner, no way I’m ever going to fix risotto in 15 minutes!
So with risotto the determining factor, the performance indicator if you will is the mouth-feel; rice that’s cooked to al-dente with a soft creaminess. So no matter what time a recipe calls for, you keep going until you’ve reached it.
Having said that once you give yourself enough time and patience, risotto needs very few ingredients to make it incredibly amazing! Like in this risotto, once we have the stock base, all we’re adding is onions, tomato paste, wine and of course Arborio rice (and only Arborio rice).
At the end, parsley, butter, saffron and lobster - high-quality ingredients done just right!