Crawfish Tail Risotto

Happy New Year & Cheers to 2017!

The Crawfish Risotto with Tabasco and Parmesan Cheese is one of my favorite winter dinner (or lunch or anytime basically…) meals.  I had this in a restaurant, in downtown Nashville, a couple years ago and now it’s a go-to.

Cooking…

For the most part, you can follow the cooking instructions on the Arborio Rice container.  I only change it slightly and I only use Arborio.

Using a large skillet – over low heat, on my cook-top the heat is on “1” for the entire process

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter (I use salted sweet cream) along with 2 Tbsp of EVOO

Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped, fresh, sweet onion

Sauté the onion in the butter & oil mixture for about 3 – 4 minutes, just until the onion is clear.

Now, add 1 cup of the Arborio Rice & 1/4 cup of white wine and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes         (I use an inexpensive Vouvray, mainly because I like it and it pairs very well with this recipe.)

Next, pour in 1 cup of warm chicken broth (I use regular broth, not the reduced fat nor sodium, regardless, use what you prefer.  Additionally, I heat the broth in the microwave so I’m not adding cool broth to a hot risotto mixture.  Don’t skip the warming…)

The remainder of the cooking process requires patience.  After adding the first cup of broth, let the risotto simmer over that low heat until you see that the broth has been absorbed by the rice.  You’ll feel it become thicker as you stir, infrequently.  After the first cup is mostly absorbed, add the second and repeat the process.  Now add the 3rd cup and repeat.  Finally, I add the last little bit of the remaining stock, repeating the process.  It’s a total of 32 ounces of the broth.

Now it’s time to taste test the risotto.  I prefer my rice/pasta past just past “al dente” so my cook time is slightly longer, therefore my low heat throughout the cooking process.  If the pasta is cooked to preference, now add 1/2 package of the Cooked Crawfish Tail Meat (I get this @ Publix in the freezer section near the fish counter.)  I do squeeze out/drain the juice from the tail meat before adding to the risotto.  Since the crawfish is already cooked, it only needs to warm up in the risotto mixture.  I fold it in for about 4 minutes max, don’t go too long or the meat will become too chewy – so to speak.

The picture above was taken just after I added the tail meat.  So, as you can see, the mixture needed the additional 4 minutes of simmer time to thicken a bit.

Serving – I use a large soup bowl and just before I add the risotto to the bowl, I go around the edge with narrow line drizzle of Tabasco.  After spooning in the risotto, add fresh grated parmesan cheese.  You can add/reduce the Tabasco to your taste.  I prefer just enough to get the heat on the finish of each bite…

Cheers!!!