Risotto is a classic Italian recipe and this recipe uses the original method of adding the liquid to the risotto, a cup at a time, waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more. Although this is labor-intensive and time-consuming because it means you cannot leave the stove while the risotto is cooking, it also produces the very best risotto, so it is worth ignoring all the modern risotto recipes which tell you it is fine to throw all the liquid in and ignore the risotto for twenty minutes, and make it the way Italian mothers and grandmothers have been making it for many years.
As well as the scallops, this risotto gets its flavor from crabmeat, chicken broth, parmesan, onion, and white wine. The flavor is refined and classical, and this makes a gorgeous appetizer or even entrée if you serve it with a green salad on the side. The sun-dried tomato is not a typical risotto ingredient, but it does add flecks of red to the otherwise plain-colored rice mixture, so you might wish to use it (or some pimento) for that reason.
Canned crabmeat is fine for this recipe, since once it is incorporated you will not notice its texture, just its subtle flavor, but do use good quality scallops, since they are the highlight of the meal.
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup onion
- ½ cup parmesan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 finely chopped sun-dried tomato
- 8 bay scallops, seasoned with olive oil, salt and black pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz crabmeat from a can
- 1 minced large garlic clove (or 2 small ones)
- Fresh basic and lemon wedges, to serve
- Bring the broth to a simmer in a pan.
- Heat the oil and butter in another pan over a medium-high heat, and sauté the onions for 3 minutes or until translucent.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for half a minute, then add the rice.
- Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes, then deglaze with the white wine, and keep cooking until all the wine is absorbed.
- Add the broth, a cup at a time, cooking each batch until the liquid is fully absorbed.
- When you add the final cup of broth, start a sauté pan over a medium-high heat, and add the scallops.
- Cook them for a couple of minutes per side.
- Stir the cheese, tomato, and crabmeat into the risotto when the last cup of broth has been absorbed.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste and stir well to mix.
- Serve the risotto topped with the scallops, and garnish with the basil and lemon.
This classy dish is sure to wow your dinner guests, and the risotto is prepared the old-fashioned way to give it a pleasing texture. Watch the scallops carefully as they cook because they only take a couple of minutes per side (even the larger ones) and they can overcook quickly. Once they are golden brown, the shade you can see here in the picture, they are ready to serve. If they are ready too soon just put them on a plate and cover them with foil, to keep them warm until the risotto is done. This is one of the tastiest scallop recipes you can make.
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