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I love risotto. I remember the first time I made it after seeing it on a cooking show on the Food Network; it was so delicious. All this fuss was made about how tricky it was to make and yet I found it simple. Yes, care has to be taken but if you pay attention to what you are doing magic happens with those little grains of rice. The basic recipe is simple – arborio rice, white wine, chicken stock and cheese. Plus the most important ingredient – patience. After watching that show I bought a risotto cookbook so I could learn more – it did not make the cut when we moved into the trailer mostly because once I had the basics down cooking the dish required little more than patience and my imagination. It’s a great vehicle for leftovers and it’s comfort food of the highest order.
My last order to Anderson Seafoods included something I’d never had before – Chilean Langostino Tails. They come fully cooked and the description says they are similar to lobster in taste. I like to try new things and since I was placing the order this was the new thing I would try this time. I have other things planned for them but I was in the mood for some risotto and knew that they would be an excellent addition. I know people say not to serve seafood and cheese but I don’t care. I like it so I cook it.
The langostino tails come in a one pound bag and I only needed half a pound for this dish. It fed us for two nights for dinners. Not bad if you ask me! I served it with the Sunomono – the Japanese cucumber salad I wrote about yesterday. The tart, crisp cucumbers were a perfect foil for the rich, creamy rice.
Saffron Risotto with Langostino Tails
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1 1/4 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese with additional for sprinkling on top of the additional meal
8 oz Langostino tails, thawed and cut in half (shrimp can also be used)
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS unsalted butter – optional
1/4 cup whole milk – optional
pinch of saffron
salt and pepper
Pour the chicken stock into a small pan and bring it just to a boil, lower the heat and keep it just at a simmer. Add the saffron.
Place a large saute pan over med-high heat. When the pan is hot add the olive oil. Add the rice and stir it around until all of the grains are coated and starting to crackle. Add the white wine and a sprinkling of salt. Here is where the patience starts to come into play. Stir the rice and wine until the wine is all absorbed (see the third photo.) It is important that all of the liquid be absorbed by the rice before you add more. Add the hot chicken stock about a cup at a time – for me that is three ladle-fuls – stirring all the while. It will take about 20 minutes.
When you have about half a cup of stock left turn the heat off under the stock. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir it in well. Add the butter and milk if you would like – these two ingredients are optional and they make the risotto richer. When the butter has melted stir in the langostino tails and the remaining half cup of stock. Turn off the heat and let the risotto sit for 10 minutes.
When you are ready to serve taste the risotto and add salt and pepper to adjust for taste. As you can see the rest period allowed the rice to absorb the liquid. The rice will still have a bit of bite to it – it should be al dente in its creamy sauce.
Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
It was heaven in a bowl. Saffron is one of my favorite flavors – as long as it’s not too heavy. It went so well with the Langostino tails which were delightfully sweet. It was just as good on the second night when I reheated it.
I was glad I tried something new from Anderson Seafoods. If you decide to give them a try, if you purchase by clicking through HERE I get a small commission.