I bought these 1.5 pound live Maine lobsters at Whole foods yesterday . The crazy hail and rain that is not typical for southern California had me in the kitchen all day and I decided to make our family risotto but with the lobsters! The following is a risotto recipe handed down through my family to your family. Once you master this one you can make any variation you like, and you will like!
First the lobsters need to be trimmed so that I can make the stock: Claws come off first then turning over the body I cut down the middle of the bottom shell with sharp kitchen shears. After pulling out the meat I set aside the shell and little claw pieces for my stock. Save the body meat and big claws for the risotto.
1/2 c. unsalted butter,1 yellow onion,4 stalks celery,2 whole peeled carrots,2 leeks,6 cups water,lobster shells and trimmings
The rich, inviting scent of brown butter and caramelized mirepoix filled my kitchen as I prepared the lobster stock. Mirepoix is a mixture of onions, celery and carrots used to form the base of numerous sauces french( and other) cuisine. add the water and the shells and bring to a boil. Let this simmer for a couple of hours and you have perfect stock for the risotto.
41/2 cups hot stock( lobster stock today)
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( EVOO from this day forward)
1 medium onion,minced
2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and chopped
4-6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1/2 pieces
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 TBSP. butter
1/2 cc. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
freshly ground black pepper
keep your stock hot on the back burner of the stove. In a large rounded bottom sauce pan heat the EVOO over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until soft about three minutes. Stir in the leeks and scallions and cook until the vegetables are golden brown. Adjust the heat if you have to to keep them from burning. Stir in the rice and coat every grain with the oil mixture until the rice becomes toasted. The edges of the rice grains will become translucent. This takes about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine and and let it boil, stirring until the it evaporates.
to make this lobster risotto: add the lobster and the claws about halfway through the cooking process. Once the rice is cooked remove the big claws and crack them open to expose the claw meat, Use the claws to garnish the bowl of risotto. You may use Parmesan or the Asiago cheese.
Season the rice with the salt and ladle 1/2 cup of the hot stock into the rice, bring to a boil and then lower the heat is a lively simmer. You do not want to scorch the rice. cook until all of the liquid is gone, you should see the bottom of the pan as you stir, add more stock in small portions and continue as before until the rice mixture is creamy but al dente; this will take about 20 minutes. taste a rice kernel it should give way to your bite on the outside but still have a bit of crunch to it in the center.
Once the rice is cooked remove from heat and stir in the butter and cheese. season with ground black pepper. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the top for extra spicy flavor.
sprinkle more grated cheese on the top and enjoy with wine and crusty bread. I also love an arugula salad on the side dressed with EVOO and aged balsamic vinegar.