I'm handicapped by an oven that doesn't work, so I've had to improvise. Since it's bitterly cold -- soup, risotto and polenta weather -- I could one-pot for weeks.
Tonight I made a seafood risotto that was warm, wonderful and filling. It was simple to prepare because, yes, I took a couple of short cuts. It was delicious, although my son reminded me that the risotto in Florence was perfetto.
Of course everything tastes better in Florence. There's something about the light, the gold-suffused dapples, that washes over everything. Who can help but give way to the sheer pleasure of the dining experience when bathed in all that lovely light? Having a nice glass of the local vino certainly doesn't mar the ambiance.
1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
1 pound mussels, cleaned and bearded
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, diced
1/4 cup strips of roasted red pepper
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced carrots
a few sprigs of cilantro
1 pinch herbs of Provence
1 pinch of saffron
1 cup arborio rice
7 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup of dry sherry
1/4 stick of butter
parmesan for grating
Sautee the shallots, garlic, herbs of Provence, saffron, mushrooms and carrots about 10 minutes. In a separate pan, toast the rice over low heat for about five minutes, then add to the sauteed herbs and vegetables. Stirring constantly, add three cups of the chicken stock, bring to a slow boil, then allow the rice to absorb the liquids. Keep adding chicken stock until it's all been added. Finally, put your shrimp and mussels in along with the pepper strips. Cover and turn burner to low. Serve once the shrimp have turned a translucent pink and the mussels have opened.
Garnish with cilantro leaf and grated parmesan.