Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crustacean Celebration: Crab Risotto

You see, I was watching this show called "Fringe" on the laptop after listening to Brian Greene talking about the existence of an infinite number of parallel universes, called the multiverse, on Fresh Air. (And yes, I'm an NPR junkie.) As Terry gamely tried to ask intelligent questions of the quantum physicist, you could actually hear her brain start to wheeze as it struggled to absorb the advanced concepts involved. (My favorite question was when she asked Greene if his pals in physics circles think he's off his nut.)

I was glad I had the simple, straightforward, science fiction-y TV series about a parallel universe where different outcomes exist, and the way that even small acts can have enormous consequences down the road. Stuff we all can get our heads around, right? Plus they talk about food a fair amount, like a recipe for the perfect strawberry milkshake.

But what got me on this tangent was the fantastic crab risotto that we had for dinner as we huddled around the screen, watching Walter, Peter, Olivia and Astrid try to figure out what the Watchers were up to this time. And I sincerely hoped that in a few parallel universes they have crabs as wonderful as our Dungeness, and that in at least one parallel dining room a little family bearing a striking resemblance to ours was having this bit of creamy comfort before crab season ends.

A Very Crabby Risotto ( or Lemony Crab Risotto)

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. shallots, finely chopped
2 c. arborio rice (I used Fior di Riso, an Italian variety)
1 c. dry white wine
2 c. fish stock, warmed
2 c. chicken stock, warmed
1/4-1/3 c. Meyer lemon juice (regular lemons can be used, as well, and chopped preserved lemons would be great)
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 c. green peas (thawed if using frozen)
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1-2 lbs. crab meat (I used the meat from two small crabs)*
2 Tbsp. chives, finely chopped

Heat butter and oil in medium saucepan over medium heat, then add onion and garlic and sauté until golden, 2-3 minutes. Add rice and stir to combine, approx. 1 min. Add white wine and stir until absorbed. Combine warmed fish and chicken stocks, then start adding stock a cup at a time until rice is slightly al dente. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, lemon zest, peas, egg yolk, parmesan and 1 Tbsp. chives all at once and stir rapidly to combine. Add crab meat and fold in gently so it doesn't break up too much. Garnish with remaining chives and serve immediately with additional parmesan for sprinkling.

* If you're bringing servings to the table rather than serving family style, you can reserve an appropriate number of larger chunks of crab for garnish.

Check out this season's Crustacean Celebration series: Pasta with Crab and Radicchio, Deadly? I Think Not, The Big Boys Weigh In and Let Them Eat Cakes. See also: last season's series starting with Hot Artichoke and Crab Dip (and links to other posts in the series).


Dime Store Foodie said...

This looks so yummy! I am always hesitant to make risotto, it always seems to glob up on me. But dungeness crab is always a good reason to try again!

Carrie said...

Oh My Kathleen....this looks absolutely scrumptious. I grow weak in the knees for risotto and crab but honestly, I don't believe I've ever had them together. Just bookmarked this recipe. Can't wait to try it. Thank you for sharing.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Just add more stock if it gets globby, DMS, but make sure the rice doesn't get mushy.

And Carrie, I know exactly what you mean about your knees. Mine do, too!