Usually when I cook, I start with a recipe, either something I’ve made before, or a new one I want to try. Yesterday was different. I decided to create a new risotto dish from some items I had in mind, thinking that they might make an especially good meal in combination together. The specific ingredients were:
- zucchini – I had 3 available, but one in particular was beginning to shrivel and had to be used immediately
- leeks – I had two large ones and two small segments, so I grabbed the small ones to use
- shrimp – We always have a bag of EZ-Peel small shrimp in the freezer. They are frozen individually, so it’s easy to defrost precisely the number I want. I decided on 8 for a balanced dish with the vegetables, BUT when I left the kitchen for a few minutes, the other chef (my wife) decided that was too skimpy, so she doubled the quantity while I wasn’t looking.
- morel mushrooms – shopping Sunday at Eataly Boston, I found some gorgeous fresh mushrooms (chanterelles and morels). Since I had never cooked morels, I bought just two of them, to give them a try with this dish.
I had an image in my mind of a umami-rich bowl of rice cooked gently over an extended time period with these ingredients, all merged together with the broth and the fats of risotto. Remarkably, it worked.
You’ll notice a few whole shrimp on top, which is how I dealt with the surfeit of shrimp which came my say suddenly.
Here are all the details, should you be tempted to try it. It was one of the best risotti I ever had.