This is actually two dishes that can be mixed and matched in thousands of ways. The Risotto is great alone, with seafood, you will find it under my short ribs, almost anything you can imagine, including as a dessert with a few minor ingredient substitutions. The magic of risotto is discussed in its featured post, so let’s get back to the shrimp.
If you follow my blog, you know that I am a use-what-you-have-on-hand cook, and that I cook gluten-free. That means, feel free to experiment with flavors that you love! I have a rule at my house that if something doesn’t work, we order pizza. Done. This is one of those meals that I made to actually clean out the refrigerator. But in the end, like a mixed breed puppy, it was really good.
One more confession – I did not make this meal with the intent of creating a blog recipe. Only after being asked via facebook (yes, I am food poster on fb), that I decided I would do it. Because of that, my pictures will be replaced the next time I make it, and this is my apology that there are not any “in process” photos to explain a step. Lesson learned.
Final thought on the shrimp – Yes, you can absolutely use peeled and deveined shrimp, and if you are in a hurry, please do! I use the shells to make seafood stock, if you are just going to throw the shells away, save yourself the time. Just never, ever, not-in-a-million-years, buy pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe. Never never never.
“Can we get back to the recipe?” Yo. [For my Hamilton fans!]
12 Prawns, shelled and deveined (when you shell shrimp, save the shells! See my post for seafood base and shrimp bisque for their use.) If you use smaller shrimp, just use more shrimp and lessen your sautee time.
4 slices bacon, chopped
olive oil as needed
2-3 Tbsp. citrus vodka (I use gf). (Can substitute with wine, I just like the brightness of the lemon, or chicken stock if you don’t want to use liquor)
2 garlic cloves, chopped cup chicken broth
1/4 c. sliced leeks
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. heavy cream (never forget the cream!)
1 handful arugula
1/2 lemon, squeezed for its juice
½ tsp. hot sauce or 1/8 tsp. crushed red peppers (can be omitted)
Salt and Cracked Pepper
LET’S GET COOKING
- Peel and devein the shrimp – yes you can buy peeled shrimp, see my discussion above.
- Make the Risotto, keep in a warm oven while you make the shrimp and sauce. (See linkback for the recipe.)
- In a heavy sauteé pan, I use a 16″ cast iron, preheat to medium heat and once hot, brush a layer of olive oil and sauteé the bacon until crispy, then drain on a paper towel. Turn down the heat on the oil to medium low!
- Leave a 1/8″ layer of bacon grease in the pan, if there isn’t enough, add a little olive oil.
- Add the shrimp, cook for about a minute, then turn and cook for one more. Add the vodka or wine, and ONLY sauteé until the shrimp loses its translucency and is pink, then immediately remove and set aside. If you use smaller shrimp, continuously stir in the pan and remove as soon as you see pink.
- Add the leeks and sautee until soft, about 1 minute
- Add the garlic and continuously stir until soft, another minute. Do not brown the garlic, it will become bitter
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer
- Add the cream, bring to a simmer
- Allow to simmer for about 3 minutes to thicken slightly
- Add the hot sauce or red pepper, if using
- Add the shrimp and arugula and stir together.
- Add the bacon, stir, cover and set aside for 2-3 minutes to rest.
Add salt and cracked pepper to taste, serve over risotto and enjoy!
To finish the meal, serve with roasted carrots.