Peruvian Shrimp Risotto (with Aji Amarillo)

It’s already turning a bit chilly here, so comfort food is in order. This Peruvian risotto has a bit of a kick because of the Aji Amarillo chili paste (you can find it at Tijn’s toko here in Amsterdam, or online). I made a sauce using the shrimp heads and shells, so you can really taste the shrimp. It’s sort of a risotto with shrimp bisque. The flavors remind me of my childhood. That’s also why I served it with some fried calamari, besides just for added texture and flavor.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the risotto:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 small white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of Aji Amarillo paste

800grs of shrimp, with the heads and shells

3/4 cup of White wine

1 ¾ cups of Arborio rice (risotto rice)

1 1/2 litters of vegetable stock

½ cup of cream

½ cup of grated Grana Padano (or Parmesan)

Salt to taste

For the shrimp sauce:

The shell of the tails and the heads of the shrimp

2 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of white wine

2 cups of vegetable stock

Extras:

Olive oil or butter to cook the shrimp tails

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

Fried calamari (optional), recipe here

Lime wedges for serving

 

First make the shrimp sauce. Remove the heads from the shrimp. Then peel and devein them. Keep the tail shells and the heads. Place the peeled shrimp tails back in the fridge.

In a large pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the shrimp shells and heads. Sautee them for about 1 minute. Then add the white wine. Let it reduce for one minute while stirring. Then add two cups of vegetable stock and let it reduce for 5 minutes. Then blend it all until smooth. Pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Set the sauce aside. Discard the solids.

Then start making the risotto. Place the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions. Cook for 4 minutes, until they are translucent (but not brown). Stir from time to time. Then add the garlic and the Aji Amarillo paste. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the rice, stir to coat it in the sauce. Then add the white wine and let it reduce for 30 seconds. Turn up the heat to medium-low. Add one ladle of the vegetable stock to the rice and stir until most of it evaporates. Repeat adding ladles of the stock and stirring for 15 minutes.

Finally add the shrimp sauce, grated grana Padano and cream. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring.  Turn off the heat.

In another pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Add the shrimp tails and cook until they turn pink. Time will vary depending on the side of the shrimp, but they cook quite fast. Add salt to taste.

Serve the risotto into bowls, add the shrimp tails and sprinkle with some parsley. Serve it with some lime wedges. I also served it some fried calamari, this is optional but it goes really well with it. For the calamari; I just breaded it flour, then beaten eggs and finally in panko. If you want to have the full recipe (and how to clean the squid), you can check this recipe of mine. I just didn’t use cornmeal this time.

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Waffled Pea & Bacon Risotto

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I love to waffle pretty much anything. It makes food crispy and can give leftovers a new life. I made this pea and bacon risotto a while ago, and I waffled the leftovers for breakfast. I just mixed the cold risotto with some breadcrumbs, and waffled it in a well-greased waffle iron. Try to make small waffles so that they are easier to remove from the waffle iron and they are less likely to break.

Ingredients:

For the risotto:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

400gr of Arborio rice

1/2 cup of white wine

125ml of cream

Salt

Celery salt

40grs of grated Parmesan

1 cup of frozen peas

150grs of crispy bacon slices, chopped (reserve the bacon fat)

For the vegetable stock:

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock

1 ½ cups of frozen peas

For the waffles:

About ¼ of a cup of breadcrumbs per cup of cold risotto

Vegetable oil for greasing the waffle iron

 

Start cooking the bacon in a large pan until it becomes crispy. Chop the bacon and set it aside. Keep the bacon fat.

Heat up the stock and add 1 ½ cups of frozen peas. Let them sit for 1 minute and then blend until smooth using an immersion blender. Keep the stock warm on the lowest heat.

In the pan with the bacon fat, add the olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and cook them until they become translucent. Then add the garlic and rice, cook until the rice becomes translucent (about 1 minute). Then add the white wine and let it reduce.

Start adding the vegetable stock one ladle at a time and keep stirring. Once the liquid has reduced to half, keep adding more stock and stir. Keep doing this for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

Add the cream, Parmesan, the crispy bacon and the last cup of frozen peas.  Stir until everything is combined and let it cook for about 1 minute to allow the liquid to evaporate a bit and become creamy again. Add salt and celery salt to taste.

This recipe makes 3 plates of warm risotto. You can eat part of it and the rest waffle it. Or let it all cool down and waffle it.

To waffle it, mix about ¼ cup of breadcrumbs per cup of cold risotto. Grease your preheated waffle iron with some vegetable oil. I prefer to make the waffles small so that they don’t break when you take them out. I made each waffle with about ½ a cup of risotto. Serve while hot. Enjoy!

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Butternut Squash Barley Risotto with Oyster Mushrooms & Chorizo

 

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I can’t seem to get enough of butternut squash, I just keep buying it every week. I love risotto and this one with barley requires a bit less attention as you can just add all the stock in one go and just stir from time to time.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 Small butternut squash

1 ½ litters of chicken stock

1 white onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 cup of white wine

1 cup of barley

1/3 cup of cream

40grs of grated Parmesan

Chives for decoration

150gr of chorizo, thinly sliced

For the oyster mushrooms:

150grs of oyster mushrooms, chopped if they are too big

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

 

Slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take the seeds out and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash. Blend the butternut with the stock until smooth. Set aside.

Saute the mushrooms with the olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper over medium heat until golden. Set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, cook the chorizo until slightly browned and crispy on both sides. Don’t add any oil, enough fat will render out of it anyways. This will only take a few minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels and set it aside. Keep one tablespoon of the fat.

In the same pan where you cooked the chorizo and kept one tablespoon of the rendered fat, cook the onions until translucent over medium heat. Then add the garlic. Cook it for one minute and then add the barley. Cook for two minutes while stirring. Then add the white wine. Stir until most of the wine has evaporated and then add all of the stock blended with the butternut squash.

Let it cook for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time, especially during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Once the barley is cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the chorizo and mushrooms. You can save a few chorizo slices and mushrooms to use later as decoration.

Add the cream and Parmesan. Stir for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced and it has a risotto consistency. Taste for salt. Divide the risotto over two bowls, top with some of the chorizo and mushrooms if you set some aside. Sprinkle some chopped chives and enjoy!

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Asparagus & Basil Risotto with Rainbow Carrots

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I went to the market yesterday and got beautiful asparagus that I decided to add to this risotto. To add some extra color and texture, I topped it with julienned rainbow carrots which I just sautéed with some olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. A comforting vegetarian dish that I had for dinner yesterday since the weather was still a bit chili. At least it stopped raining, so I won’t complain!

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This recipe serves 3

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 shallots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

400gr of Arborio rice

1 bunch of asparagus

1 cup of white wine

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock plus 1 cup to blend with the basil

125ml of cream

1 bunch of basil

30gr of grated Parmesan

Salt

Pepper

3 rainbow carrots, julienned

Garlic powder

Extra olive oil to saute the vegetables

 

Start by prepping the vegetables. Chop off the tips of the asparagus and set them aside. Chop the stalks into small pieces and set aside. Slice the carrots into julienne.

Saute the julienned carrots in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Do it over medium heat for about 1 minute. For presentation purposes, I sauteed the purple carrots separately because they tend to stain the others.

Saute the asparagus tips in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper. They will also take about 1 minute depending on their size. Set aside.

Blend the basil with the cream and 1 cup of the vegetable stock, set aside.

Keep the stock warm in a pan with a ladle close by.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook for about 2 minutes until they become translucent. Add the minced garlic and rice. Stir for about 1 minute. Then, add the white wine and let it reduce.

Start adding the vegetable stock one ladle at a time and keep stirring. Once the liquid has reduced to half, keep adding more stock and stir. Keep doing this for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

Add the chopped asparagus stalks to the risotto along with the basil cream and parmesan. Stir until everything is combined and let it cook for about 1 minute to allow the liquid to evaporate a bit and become creamy again. Taste for salt.

Divide the risotto into 3 plates. Add the sautéed asparagus tips on top of the risotto. Finish by adding the sautéed carrots. Sprinkle some extra Parmesan if you want.

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Risotto with Bacon Gremolata

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This risotto has a light smoky taste because of the charred peppers and the bacon gremolata adds a nice freshness to it.  Gremolata is an Italian condiment made out of parsley, garlic and lemon. It is traditionally served with meat but I thought it would be nice to add some bacon to it and use it as an extra on the risotto. It turned out to be a great combination of flavors.

Ingredients:

3 red bell peppers

1 medium white onion, chopped

400gr Arborio rice

1 cup of white wine

1 ½ litter of chicken stock

200gr crème fraiche

½ cup of frozen peas

40g grated Parmesan

Olive oil

Salt

For the gremolata:

1 cup of flat leaf parsley (hard stems removed)

6 crispy bacon strips

Zest of 1 lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

 

To make the roasted pepper sauce, place the whole peppers over a gas burner and cook, turning as necessary, until charred all over. Let them cool off for a few minutes. Pull out the stems and cores. Then under running water, peel the skin off with your hands. Once all the peppers are pealed, chop them up and put them in a bowl. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and blend until smooth.

In a large pan, add some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for a couple of minutes until they are translucent but not browned.  Add the rice and stir for a minute. Then add the white wine.  Let it reduce to half and add the pepper sauce. Stir until combined. Start adding the chicken stock with a ladle and keep stirring. Once the liquid has reduced to half, keep adding more stock and stir. Keep doing this for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

Add the crème fraiche, frozen peas and Parmesan. Stir until it is all combined and the peas are cooked. Add salt to taste.

To make the gremolata, just chop all of the ingredients very fine.  Mix them and set aside.

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Serve the risotto on each plate and top with some of the gremolata.

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