My friend Emily was lucky enough to be invited to a Iron Chef potluck party last week, and the secret ingredient was basil. I think this is a fantastic way to get together with friends to share some good food, and I’m going to have to incubate that idea for the summer party season.
One of Emily’s contributions to the party was a crab risotto, which sounded very tasty to me, so I decided to make it for dinner, since I had some canned crab meat that had been lingering in the pantry for many months. I think Emily was correct in using fresh lump crab from Whole Foods – the canned stuff is not as good, and I think maybe I’d have preferred shrimp on the risotto instead.
In any case, this was a delicious dinner. I added to Emily’s recipe with a pinch of saffron in the broth…I love the mysterious, almost sea-like flavor that saffron adds, and it makes the rice such a lovely color. I also tossed in some sun-dried tomatoes and green peas for some extra flavor and fresh colors.
1 1/2 cup aborio rice
3/4 c white wine
6 cups chicken stock
pinch of saffron
1 T Olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, diced
1/4 c dry sundried tomatoes, diced
salt & pepper to taste
big handful of basil, chopped
1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
2 cans crab meat, drained
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
- Warm the broth in a covered pan with pinch of saffron, and maintain temperature at a bare simmer throughout the cooking process.
- Heat 1 T of the olive oil on medium heat in the same large non-stick skillet. Add garlic and onions, sauté for 30 seconds. Add rice and stir frequently until rice is coated with oil, about 2 minutes. Pour in the white wine, and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add sundried tomatoes. Continue cooking, and add broth in 1 cup intervals, while stirring until absorbed. Season with salt and pepper as the risotto cooks. It will take about 30 minutes to cook the risotto. You may have a little broth left over when the risotto is tender and finished, or if you run out of broth, simply add a bit of hot water to finish cooking, until rice is done.
- When the risotto is finished, add the basil, peas, crab parmesan cheese and stir until the peas are heated through & serve!