Recipe for Risotto with Sauteed Shrimp, Corn, and Fresh Basil

We had this for dinner last night. I love this recipe, and so does the rest of the family. Below is the original recipe from Sara Foster when it was published in Cottage Living Magazine. I make one change to the original....instead of using the arborio rice for the risotto, I use Orzo Pasta. I really like using Orzo because it absorbs liquid while cooking just like the arborio rice....but you don't have to kill yourself with the stirring. I also like that the orzo tastes buttery, but not quite as rich as the arborio. Anyway, which ever way you like it, just add the chicken broth about a cup at a time, so the rice/or orzo can absorb it.

We had a salad on the side...and Trader Joe's Cornbread - yum!


Risotto with Sautéed Shrimp, Corn, and Fresh Basil

Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 33 minutes.

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 basil leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade), divided (see Test Kitchen Tip, below)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine (such as Chardonnay)
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. In a large mixing bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and 3 basil leaves. Sauté shrimp in 2 batches, if necessary, to prevent overcrowding. Cook about 1 minute per side, and remove from pan; place on a platter, cover loosely, and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium, and heat remaining olive oil and butter in the same pan. Add onion, and sauté, stirring frequently, 2 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add garlic and red pepper, and sauté, stirring constantly, 1 minute more.
3. Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover, and keep warm.
4. Add rice to onion mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until grains are well coated and the outsides turn translucent. (Do not let rice brown.) Add white wine, and cook 30 seconds or until most of it evaporates.
5. Add 1 cup chicken broth, and stir constantly until mostly absorbed. Add additional broth in 1-cup increments, stirring after each addition until most of the broth is absorbed. Stop adding broth when rice appears to be saturated. (You may not need all 5 cups broth.) Cook, stirring frequently, 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy but not mushy.
6. Stir in corn, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in shrimp and any collected juices. Reduce heat to low, and cook until warm, not more than 1 minute. Add a little more chicken broth if risotto gets too dry. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan and remaining basil. Season with additional sea salt and pepper, if desired. Top with remaining Parmesan, and serve warm.

Test Kitchen Tip: "Chiffonade" may sound fancy and French, but it's just a fast, easy way to cut thin, even strips of basil or any other leafy green: Stack the leaves, roll them lengthwise (like a cigar), and carefully chop crosswise.

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