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.
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
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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