Wow, what a fantastic weeknight meal. I’m not saying that it’s not good enough for a weekend, it’s just that when you’re in the mood for something really flavourful, but don’t want to spend all night preparing it, this Classic risotto with shrimp and sweet peas recipe will trick you into thinking it’s a special occasion.
I usually have frozen shrimp and frozen peas in my freezer so I was able to put this together without having to make a special trip to the grocery store. My husband was great and picked up the other needed recipe item on his commute home: chives (until I can grow some in our backyard this summer, that is). These days we even seem to keep our fridge stocked with a block of Parmesan cheese. A little block can go a long, long way and it’s such a welcome addition to so many recipes. It even tastes great on its own if you slice a chunk off when no one is looking.
We were able to make this recipe quickly by having two cooks in the kitchen. My husband started the food prep while I was on my way home from work. When I got home, I worked on peeling the shrimp, grating the Parmesan cheese and snipping the chives, during which my husband stirred the rice and progressively added a ½ cup of broth at a time. If, however, next time I find myself making this alone then I’ll have to get everything ready to go before I start cooking the rice. It’s hard to peel shrimp, grate cheese and snip chives while making sure to stir the Arborio rice frequently for 25 minutes.
Making this dish with two people is a nice, even romantic, way to catch up on the day. It requires little concentration and one of you can gingerly stir the rice while the other one leisurely grates the cheese. It was one of the most relaxing meal preparation experiences I’d had in a long time. Mind you, my husband had a good head start on dinner before I even walked through the door and I had my handy sister-in-law/housemate/student playing with our two-year-old, so we had all four hands free to make a nice meal without any interruptions.
When snapping a photo of the risotto, I regretted not having left a few chives unsnipped so that I could place three tall blades (is that the word?) in the centre, dim the lights and pretend I was at an intimate restaurant. Oh well, maybe next time…by the time it was ready, we were dying to taste it anyway.
This meal was delicious. Definitely one of my favourites. It was so funny watching our son scoop up mouthful after mouthful of the risotto without taking a break, blinking or dropping a grain of rice. He loved it. The only words he uttered during dinner were “Shrimp” and “More. Puh-lease.” And we even had some leftovers!