19 July, 2010

Citrus Risotto with Garlic-Chili Prawns

This recipe is supposed to have a definite kick to it. Mine was milder than I wanted. That's because the ingredient list for the recipe I followed only said "2 red chili peppers" so I bought fresh ones. Apparently, they should be dried ones. There's a definite difference when it comes to hotness. If you buy fresh, be sure to use all the seeds. Also, as usual, I added a lot more garlic than they called for, and a bit more lemon juice. It needed it for the full flavors to come through.

Risotto is traditionally served as a first course in Italy. If you are serving as a first course, this serves 4. If you do it like me, and serve it as a main course, and it serves 2. Your choice.

This is really an easy recipe and I enjoyed the colors and flavors.

Ingredients for risotto.
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced (I used two shallots instead)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
Ingredients for garlic-chili prawns.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 20 medium-sized fresh prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 2 small dried red chiles, crushed
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • sea salt
  • lemon wedges

Heat the stock in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the rice and stir until the rice is well coated with oil.

Gradually add the stock, a cupful at a time, stirring constantly. Make sure the stock is mostly absorbed before adding more stock. The whole process takes 18-20 minutes. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest after about 15 minutes. The rice is done when it is creamy but still al dente. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover, and let stand for two minutes before serving.

For the prawns, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Season the prawns with sea salt before adding to the hot pan. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the chile and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with parsley.

Place the prawns on top of the risotto. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!





Finished dish.


  1. I'm so hungry now. Thanks!! :) I can't wait for a proper kitchen someday soon and cooking side by side with you. :)


  2. Around here we have a statement for those times when something is beautiful/delicious/breathtaking and just generally all-consuming of the senses: Mama likey (or daddy)!

    Guess what, Jackie? This dish warrants: Mama likey.

  3. Yum - I love this type of dish! If you use dried peppers, two would make it plenty hot, for sure.
    For vegetarians, I can sub veggie stock for chicken... but do you have any suggestions for what I can use in place of the shrimp without changing the recipe too much?
    It sounds delicious -

  4. Hi Terry,

    I am not very familiar with the Vegan diet, and I hate to suggest "tofu" as a stand-in for seafood, but I honestly don't have any other suggestion right now. Sorry about that! If I think of any, I'll jot it down! ;-)


  5. Hi,
    Tofu is a good suggestion. I never have good luck cooking with tofu, it always seems to fall apart, but maybe I'm using the wrong kind. I'll give it a go - it sounds like there are amazing flavors in this recipe. Besides, no de-veining/shelling involved with tofu! yum...

  6. I haven't had much luck with tofu, either. But I know there are varying thicknesses and textures. But since I use it so seldom (and now I'm allergic to soy, actually), I don't have that much info on it. I wish I had more ideas for meat replacements. But being the carnivore that I am, my dinner recipes are often fairly meat-heavy.

  7. Terry,
    You might try Quorn. I have made fabulous General Tso's chicken with it. It does not fall apart and has a texture that I cannot tell apart from real chicken. Just don't get the breaded ones, so for plain and it will soak up that tasty sauce!

  8. I love that you have a risotto recipe in the summer. Standing behind a pot, stirring consistently for 18-20 minutes in the summer can seem like eternity. But of course, it's always worth it. Was it E David that said that braising in the summer was the mark of a true cook?