Need an idea for Valentine’s Day? A seafood risotto made from homemade shellfish stock and freshly cooked meat is not something everyone gets the opportunity to try. Nominate a special someone in your life and spoil them with this crab risotto recipe.
It may be just one bowl of food, but every part of the recipe you are layering in flavour and love and they will shower it right back at you. Plus, I see this appropriatley pink dish, pairing very well with a nice glass of champagne.
Starting from scratch (where scratch is one very much alive Dungeness crab), all the way to two bowls of a hearty crab risotto, takes a smidge over 2 hours. This is because you need to cook the crab, pick the meat from the shells and then make the crab stock before you can even start on the risotto. That said, once you have the crab and crab stock all ready to go the risotto takes less than 45 minutes so if you would like you can do this over two days. This risotto recipe was created from Dungeness crab, but that isn’t native to everywhere, I am sure it would work with other crabs as well.
Crab Risotto Recipe(serves 4)
This recipe is designed to go along with the crab stock and as such first you will need to cook the crab. Just in case you are at a loss for this, here is how you would go about it: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup of salt. It doesn't have to be fancy salt but crab likes to be cooked in very salty water. Add the crab and boil for 8 minutes. Drain and allow to cool for 20 minutes so it is cool enough to handle. Once you have picked through the crab and separated the shell from the flesh you can make the stock from the leftover shell and refrigerate the meat until you are ready to make the risotto.
Alternatively this recipe can be made with purchased shelled crab and crab stock.
To make the risotto, set a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium heat and melt the tablespoon of butter. Add the onion and sweat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, cayenne, thyme and a pinch of salt. Sweat for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring so that it won't brown. Add the rice, and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Now you should be stirring constantly. Start adding your hot stock one ladelful at a time, making sure there is always so enough that the rice is fully covered. Simmer the risotto, stirring frequently until the rice starts to approach al dente. When this happens, slow the addition of stock to a half ladle at a time and stir in the cooked crab, tomatoes and parsley. Cook until the rice is tender, but still has a tiny bite. Stir in the chives, cream and lemon juice. Taste and add add salt as necessary as well as a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, crab likes pepper. Serve hot.