Wow, I feel like all I've done today is update my blog, and I still have five more to go! Ugh...I hate when I fall behind! I have to go a little out of order now from when I made things because apparently I have pictures on a different camera than the one I uploaded yesterday. Or maybe I flat out didn't take pictures, I'm not sure. I've started a new meal planning format, using an Excel spreadsheet. I'm trying to figure out how to upload it to Google docs, but whenever I try to it changes my awesome formatting. I really want to share it because I'm quite pleased with it.
Anyway, I was at Barnes & Noble recently and spied Giada's newest cookbook, Giada at Home. I didn't even know she had a new cookbook out, so I flipped through it and saw this recipe for risotto. I had some lobster tails in the freezer I needed to be using, so really I bought the book for the sole purpose of making this recipe. Of course, had I been thinking, I would have realized I could probably find it on the Food Network website. Oh well, I have yet to see a Giada cookbook I didn't like, and after flipping through it more there are all sorts of yummy things in there I want to make.
Giada's Brown Butter Risotto with Lobster
1 pound (about 2 medium) frozen lobster tails, thawed
4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
4 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lobster tails and boil for 8 to 10 minutes until the shells curl and the lobster meat turns white. Drain, transfer to a cutting board, and cool for 15 minutes. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut through the top shell lengthwise. Remove the meat and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Keep hot over low heat.
In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to foam and then turns brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the brandy and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of stock and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of stock to absorb before adding the next. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining butter and 2 tablespoons chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer the risotto to a large serving bowl. Arrange the lobster meat on top of the risotto and garnish with the remaining chives.
I had never cooked lobster before, and mine got a little overdone. Whether it was my cooking or the fact that the lobster tails had been in my freezer probably longer than they should have been, I'm not sure. I didn't have any brandy on hand, so instead I substituted some white wine, since the husband and I were drinking it anyway. I also added in a splash of half and half at the end to give it a little extra creaminess.
I have a real love/hate relationship with risotto. I LOVE to eat it, but it takes so freakin' long to make. However, I've always found that the end result is worth the time and effort. This was probably the BEST risotto I've ever had (or made). The lobster was a decadent addition, and I loved that it was just topped with the lobster, not mixed into it. I think you could also use some large shrimp with equally good results and flavor.
There were no leftovers of this. The husband and I had it for a date night dinner after the kids went to bed and ate every last bite. I should probably be ashamed to admit that, but it was so ridiculously good I don't really care.