I decided to spoil Adam and me today.
I had it stuck in my head most of the day that I was going to be using something from a far away land to make dinner.
Any ideas as to what that is? No? I didn't either. My sister brought me this airtight package of rice from her trip to Torino, Italy a few months back, and it's just been sitting there. She explained that it was like arborio rice (the stuff used to make risotto) but better. And it was direct from Italy, so it HAD to be better.
Upon doing a little research, I found that carnaroli rice is a higher-starch rice than arborio, yielding a super-creamy yet sturdy risotto dish. It's a slightly smaller grain than arborio, but lends itself to risotto dishes just as well.
What could I put with this incredibly well-traveled rice that was worthy of its company? As I said, I spoiled us. I bought things from the grocery store that I ordinarily wouldn't have... but hey, we deserve it!
That would be raw milk parmesan cheese (under the tomatoes), organic cherry tomatoes, organic green peas, fresh shallot, and lump crab meat.
Carnaroli Risotto with Lump Crab, Peas, and "Popped" Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 c. carnaroli rice (or arborio, but you may need to alter the liquid content)
- 1 box chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 cup peas (either fresh or frozen)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- lump crab meat
- 2 Tb. butter
- 1 Tb. olive oil
Heat the oil and butter together in a sauce pot. When the butter is melted, add the shallot and turn the heat to medium. Cook until the shallot is translucent, then add the raw grains of rice. Stir well, making sure that each rice grain is coated with the butter and oil mixture, and the grains are lightly toasted. Add about 1 cup of chicken stock to the pot.
Stir well, and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the broth is all absorbed. Continue this process with about a cup or cup-and-a-half of broth at a time until the broth is all absorbed and the rice is creamy. Stir in the parmesan cheese and thawed peas. Cover the pot and turn the heat off.
In a separate pan, heat 1 tsp. olive oil. When the pan is searing hot, add the tomatoes and stir to coat the tomatoes with the oil. Cook over very high heat, shaking the pan constantly, for about 5 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes (carefully!) to a separate dish and allow to rest, at which point, the skins will "pop".
Plate the risotto with a large scoop of crab meat on top, and the tomatoes.
Look at those tomatoes!
Yeah, its kind of awesome.
It's time for some ganache, a spoon, and some wine.