Mmmmmm .... Lobster Risotto

We recently had friends visiting from out of town, and when we have company, we love to cook something amazing using local ingredients. In the winter months, when the farmers markets go on a limited rotation, this gets a little trickier, but Lobster Risotto might be our new go-to dish. It's decadent, but because it uses so little lobster meat, it's relatively inexpensive to prepare. We adapted this recipe from Mark Bittman, and we think it's the yummiest. We hope you do, too.

Lobster Risotto
Makes 6 servings
5 cups Lobster Stock (recipe follows)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cups arborio rice
the meat from 2 steamed lobsters (reserve steaming liquid and shells)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a wide, shallow saucepan (we like the Le Creuset saucier), melt together the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute about 4 minutes. Add rice and saute about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Wait until the rice absorbs the liquid before adding more. Add wine and saffron and continue to stir until rice is tender but still has a bit of a bite to it, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add lobster meat and parsley to heat through, then add Parmesan. Serve in shallow bowls with grated Parmesan and fresh parsley.

Lobster Stock
2 lobster shells
1/4 cup olive oil
Reserved steaming liquid
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 bay leaves
2 cups white wine
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

In a stockpot, combine all ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. You'll want to add a bit more water about halfway through, but be careful not to water down the stock — if you need more liquid while cooking the risotto, substitute water or wine for stock. Do not overcook the stock, as it will become bitter.


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