Tonight I made a meal just for Jules. OK, I had ulterior motives. I wanted something a little finer than the usual weekday fare, didn't want it to be much work, AND wanted it to be a sure fire success for Jules.
My sweet baby does have a taste for "fine foods" occasionally. Take smoked salmon, for instance. While I find it slimy, greasy, and barely worthy of gagging down unless presented in tiny tidbits with creamy herbed cheese on bruschetta sprinkled with minced chives (yes, there is a very lovely recipe for this that I will one day share), Jules (and his papa) slurp it up like it's slathered in chocolate.
I didn't feel like pasta (another, almost "sure thing" with Jules, so long as it's relatively unadorned -- no green bits or large chunks of veggies), didn't feel like beans, wanted to drink wine and feel full after my meal.
So, flipping through the latest (June 2009) issue of Sunset Magazine, I found it: "Grilled corn and bay shrimp risotto." Of course the people at Sunset were crazy if they thought I was actually going to fire up the charcoal grill to get the corn in this dish just right. I cheated (of COURSE I did), "dry frying" the corn at a relatively high temperature in a non-stick pan to approximate something of the intended flavor. Then I tweaked a few of the other ingredients to fit what I had on hand/was in the mood to do, and there it was.
The result? DELICIOUS. Not too heavy, very lemony. Jules liked it, too.
"Grilled" corn and shrimp risotto (adapted from this recipe in Sunset Magazine)
2 cups frozen corn (original: 3 medium ears, husked, grilled, and sliced off the cob)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion (shallots in the original recipe)
1 1/2 cups risotto rice (I used sushi rice, as recommended in another Sunset article I once read)
1.5 quarts vegetable (or chicken) broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (the original recipe called for a cup, but this is for my kid, and I could use that extra 1/2 glass for myself)
1 pound largeish shrimp (you could use small, but why would you?)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespooon lemon zest
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
a handful of parsley, chopped, for garnish
Parmigiano Reggiano (or regular parmesan)
Warm a nonstick pan on medium-high heat, add the corn and "dry fry" it, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown (it may actually pop, as well). Turn off the heat and set aside for later.
While the corn browns, heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat and add red onions/shallots and cook, stirring, just until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until grains are slightly translucent at edges, about 3 minutes longer.
Add wine and, while you're at it, pour yourself a glass because it's been "that kind of day." Sip, cook, and stir often, until the wine (you added, not imbibed), is almost absorbed. Add broth a ladleful at a time, cooking and stirring until almost absorbed before adding more. Keep adding broth, cooking and stirring, until rice is creamy and tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes.
Stir in corn, shrimp, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to taste and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add more broth if risotto gets too dry here.
Spoon risotto into shallow bowls (or slap it on a plate with a green salad), grate a little parmigiano reggiano over it, add pepper and sprinkle with parsley if your kid will let you, and serve.
As It Always Should Be
1 day ago