I like shrimp. I love risotto. What could be better? Oh, there's bacon here too!
This recipe is:
13 Green, 12 Blue/Purple WW Points*
Gluten Free Nut free
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- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4- 6 slices bacon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup Arborio Rice
- ½ cup white wine (optional)
- ½ cup shaved asiago cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
*Points too high? Reduce the meal by two points with the following changes: use turkey bacon instead of pork bacon, margarine instead of butter, and omit wine.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
- In a saucepan, warm chicken broth to a simmer. Keep warm.
- Heat a non-stick frying skillet, or coat a skillet with cooking spray. Cook bacon until crispy, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool slightly. Do not drain skillet.
- In same skillet, add shrimp and cook until done, about five minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. Allow to cool slightly, but keep warm.
- Drain any remaining bacon fat from skillet. Return to stove and heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Once oil is hot, add onion. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While the oil is heating and onion is cooking, chop bacon and shrimp. Continue to keep warm.
- Add rice to skillet. Stir for 1 – 2 minutes.
- If using white wine, add to skillet. Stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 3 -4 minutes.
- Add broth, ½ cup at a time, to rice. Stir frequently until liquid in skillet is absorbed. Once liquid in skillet is absorbed, add next ½ cup.
- Continue until rice is creamy, about 20 – 25 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add cheese and butter. Stir until the cheese and butter has melted. Add shrimp and bacon back into skillet and stir to combine.
Sometimes, things just come together. The other night I was flipping through Twitter and saw a tweet from one of my favorite Food Network chefs, Alex Guarnaschelli, who was craving a very specific version of shrimp and grits.
I thought that sounded awesome, but as my most recent round of Whole 30 reminded me, corn is not my friend. And I love cheese in my grits, and cheddar and I aren’t on the greatest of terms either. But then, the next day, I turned on the TV in my kitchen, which happened to be tuned to the Food Network, to see one of my other favs, The Pioneer Woman, cooking risotto. And it hit me – instead of shrimp and grits, I’ll do shrimp and risotto!
So, here we go! If you’ve been to the site before, you know I like to bake my risotto. Baking it in a Dutch oven gives you the same creamy texture that you can get by cooking it on the stovetop, without the time, but for this I went old school and back to the stove top. This is because of the shrimp and bacon (yes, bacon!), I just felt it would be easier on the stove, plus it would be one less pan to clean.
Start by preparing your ingredients. I usually buy shaved or shredded cheese for risotto, but the grocery store had wedges on sale. No problem with my 3 piece peeler set. I love these peelers! Not only are they the strongest peelers I've ever seen - seriously, I've peeled butternut squash with them - it doesn't get any tougher than that - but they each have a different blade, making them an incredibly versatile set of tools. I used one to shred my cheese.
If you haven't already, peel and devein your shrimp, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
You’ll need two pans – a saucepan for the broth, and one for everything else. Warm your chicken broth to a simmer in one pan. As it’s warming, heat a large non-stick skillet, or coat a skillet lightly with cooking spray. Once hot, add bacon to the skillet. You won’t need a lot of spray or oil, since the bacon fat will act as your cooking fat. You could you a low-fat bacon like turkey bacon, but later you’ll need to add some oil, so just save yourself the step.
Cook the bacon until crispy, about three minutes on each side. Remove and set aside, keeping warm. Add shrimp to the skillet and cook until done, about five minutes. Once the shrimp is pink and cooked through, remove from skillet. Keep warm, but allow to cool slightly.
Drain any remaining fat from the skillet. Return skillet to stove and add oil. Heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add your onion. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. While the onion is cooking, chop the slightly cooled bacon and shrimp. Set aside and keep warm.
Once the onion is cooked, add the rice to the skillet. Stir for one to two minutes. The rice should be coated in liquid, but not browned.
White wine is frequently used to add more flavor to risotto. I love using wine in dishes like this, mostly because I have a fairly full wine rack, and don’t really drink wine, so cooking is the perfect excuse to use it. With risotto a dry white wine is usually recommended. Basically, if I’m looking for dry white, I just look for something with Pinot in the name. Of course, if you don’t keep a lot of wine in your home, you can substitute cooking wine, found in your grocery store (even here in Maryland where wine is generally not available at the grocery) or omit it all together.
If you are using wine, now is the time to add it. Stir it into the rice and stir until it is mostly absorbed, about three to four minutes. If you are not using wine, add the first half cup of the chicken broth and stir until absorbed.
Continue adding chicken broth a half cup at a time and stirring until the rice is creamy and tender. You might use all of the liquid, you might not. I always heat four cups of the broth, although I usually have half to a full cup left over. This is where the time and elbow grease of risotto come in, it will probably take 20 to 25 minutes to reach the creamy, tender risotto you want.
Once the risotto is done, turn off the heat and add the butter and cheese. I decided to go with asiago instead of the traditional parmesan. It’s a little creamy and bolder in flavor. I thought it fitting since the dish was partially inspired by shrimp and grits, which I usually make with a bolder cheddar.
Once the butter and cheese are mostly melted, add the chopped shrimp and bacon into the dish. Stir to combine and warm. Serve hot!
Need more risotto? Check out some of our other risottos like Baked Butternut Squash or Spring Vegetable Risotto.
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