Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Show & Tell: Kitchen Adventures... Seafood Beginnings

Good evening Humble Readers... I know I haven't posted much lately (not a whole lot to tell just now) but I have been around, keeping tabs on all of you. :) I wasn't sure until just a couple of hours ago what I would use for my Show & Tell post this week. But I'm excited about this one for a lot of reasons, first and foremost that I am getting braver in my cooking.

Seafood has always been a bit daunting to me. It's always seemed to be so easy to screw up and so expensive, that I was scared to try much of anything. A few years ago I started with salmon. I became fairly proficient at several different ways of serving it... poached, baked, grilled, fried, oven roasted with maple glaze. Then I moved on to shrimp. I have yet to buy shrimp in their shells, and almost always the precooked, frozen shrimp. Last fall I started experimenting with tilapia and halibut... and am happy to say that I think I have that pretty well sorted out.

So today it was time to try something new... scallops! Tonight I thought I would keep it simple. This recipe made two very substantial servings (my Beloved and I have hearty appetites). Also, keep in mind that I like things very lemony... so feel free to cut back on the lemony-ness if you like.

Lemon & Saffron Risotto with Scallops & Shrimp

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • 3.5 cups chicken stock
  • .5 cup lemon juice
  • .5 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • butter
  • 8-10 fresh scallops
  • shrimp (I used cooked, shrimp... and I really don't know how much I used. It was about 1/3 of the pink bag from Cos.tco)
  • dried dill
  • grated parmesean cheese
  • frozen peas

Combine lemon juice and chicken stock in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once stock is boilng, reduce to a slow simmer. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and half tbsp butter, and saute the diced onion. When the onion is translucent but not browned, add rice and cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Start adding stock one ladle full at a time, stirring constantly. As the rice absorbs the liquid, add more stock. When you have added about half of the stock to the rice, add the saffron to the stock. When you have added all the stock to the rice, reduce heat and stir often. Risotto will be done when it's creamy in texture and al dente (like pasta). When the risotto is almost finished, start to heat up a small skillet with some olive oil and a small amount of butter. Dust the tops of the scallops with just a bit of dill and add to hot pan. When the first side is browned, turn the scallops. While the scallops are finishing off, add shrimp and frozen peas to the rice (it won't take much to heat them through). Add the juice of half the lemon to the risotto, and the other half to the scallops. Plate the risotto, garnish with parmesean and lemon zest, and top with the scallops.

I know that risotto seems a bit finicky and time consuming, but once you get the hang of it, it's so easy and so worth it.

Now, don't forget to head on over to Mel's place and check out what the rest of the class is showing.


  1. Go ahead - try the raw shrimp! It's pretty easy to use and it doesn't take much time to cook!

    Your scallops look lovely, though.

  2. Wow, that looks pretty good!

    I find seafood daunting too. I didn't grow up on it, and never tried cooking it ever until recently. My husband and I were strict vegetarians for 6 years, and a month or so ago we started eating seafood. I was so lost on how to cook it! The first few attempts were complete disasters.

    I'm glad you've managed to master some things though, keep at it and I'm sure you can figure much more out too :)

  3. Wow, that looks so good I almost licked the computer screen!!! I love seafood...husband hates it, so I never get to have it! Thanks for posting so I can live vicariously through your cooking adventures!

  4. Yum. I'll have to give that a try! I like Ina Garten's recipe for Scallops Provencal, with extra lemon added. It's really, really good!

    And I'm with areyoukiddingme- go ahead and give the raw ones a try! You can get them frozen and deveined, and they are super easy to peel and cook. Actually, in the very near future, I'll be posting my newest recipe for Thai-style shrimp scampi, which uses that exact product. Mmm. Good stuff!

  5. You and I are twins in the fish-cooking department. Although you have progressed much further than I! (Salmon and shrimp are the end for me) I do love rizotto and was fine with the time and effort it took, until I found my RICE COOKER!!!

    It makes the BEST rizotto I've ever had and all I do is push a button and to read blogs!!

  6. I'm weary of cooking seafood too. It seems so daunting!!

  7. Great job on the risotto! It looks really yummy. I created almost the same recipe and my husband loves it. He calls it one of my "signature dishes." I think he just does that so I will cook it more. I use shallots instead of onion, you may want to try them to mix it up a bit. Awesome show and tell!

  8. this looks amazing! Will have to try it out. I love seafood! Especially shrimp on the BBQ.
    My list of recipes to try is ever growing, I just made an amazing pear lavender coffee cake that was an easy peasy, one bowl recipe. Can't wait to make it again, but with blueberries from the farmer's market. Have a great Thursday!

  9. we don't eat seafood, but if we did, I would so try that. It looks delicious.

  10. I am a scallop FIEND. Just looking at the pic makes me crazy!! (;

  11. Yum! I love scallops, and your recipe sounds delicious!

  12. That looks delicious! And that's coming from a person who is allergic to shellfish.

    Maybe I'll substitute chicken or tilapia...

  13. Oh that looks delicious! I may have to make some this weekend. As far as motion sickness on a cruise--there are always tons of people with little patches on :)

  14. Lovely! You could substitute chunks of salmon in there, too. ;o)

  15. OH YUM!!!! I use to be SO scared of trying new dishes, ANY new dishes. I've gotten better at it though. I'm actually having fun experimenting in my kitchen. I haven't tried fish yet, it seems a bit too much for the little skills I have. I may have to try this one though.

  16. I don't eat seafood either...but that does look yummy! I should cook a big meal this weekend...


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