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a place that you know

June 05 2013 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Fish,Pasta,Recipe » 8 comments

Risotto with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Chives

I walked to the dry cleaners yesterday, which was a hot, sunny day in Seattle, a city that people say rarely sees the sun and never gets hot, so I may be breaking some kind of let’s-keep-this-our-little-secret Seattle code by even mentioning these pleasant conditions, but I’m new here, and I haven’t totally learned the code just yet.  Anyway, a few stray, puffy clouds floated in the broad, blue sky and as I climbed the steep, narrow stairway that cuts a path out of our little neighborhood and out onto the main drag, I turned around to take it all in.

Risotto with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Chives

From those stairs, I can see all the way down the hill into Ballard, and, behind it, slices of the sparkling ship canal and the blue and red hulls of the big boats anchored there.  I can see the slope up to Queen Anne on the other side of the water, and way off in the distance, I can see the jagged, still-snow-draped Olympics.  The latest-blooming flowers (poppies and peonies and roses, at the moment!) edge the sidewalks, and succulents crawl up mossy rock walls.  I can hear the bellow of shipping horns and the whisper of the tall, swaying pines, and power lines criss-cross overhead.

Risotto with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Chives

We live here!, I said to myself.  I turned around, finished the climb up the steps, and continued on my walk, lost in thought, my feet carrying me where I needed to go, tracing the path by habit, which goes to show that while I’m still swept up in the awe of this new place, it’s really starting to become home, a place that we know.  Yes, we live here.  Before I knew it, I was headed back down those steps, my mind still meandering.  And, then, my phone somehow slipped from my hands, clattered down the stairs, and bounced over the railing and into the bushes.  This, of course, snapped me out of my reverie.  I chased my phone down the stairs, hopped over the railing (oh, what a sight I must have been!) and foraged in the bushes for my phone (which, by some miracle, was as good as new!).  I clambered back onto the staircase and brushed myself off.  And there it was again—that big sweeping view—and I took it in again before I reached the bottom of the stairs and made my way home.

Risotto with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Chives

Seattle’s felt a lot like this lately, for me—a mix of still-new wonderment and the mindless, comforting familiar of a place that you know.  We had a close friend, the best man at our wedding, visit us last weekend (it if seems like I’m always mentioning guests, it’s because we’re basically operating a B&B, which I love), and it was a treat to have favorite places to bring him and favorite things to do with him.  When our first guests were here back in April, our sightseeing mainly involved the grocery store, and, if we were very lucky, the playground down the street.

Risotto with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Chives

On Saturday night, after the baby was asleep, Kevin and our friend went out for dinner, and I stayed behind with Avery, and made myself dinner.  I had bought some shrimp and didn’t have much of a plan beyond that.  I rummaged through the pantry, and settled on risotto.

Risotto with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Chives

I make risotto every couple weeks, so I made it as I normally do, but I planned to swirl in some chives and crushed San Marzano tomatoes and to top it with sauteed shrimp.  I leaned my hip up against the counter as I mindlessly stirred and stirred the rice, ladling in spoonfuls of broth until the magic trick that is risotto was done.  The addition of tomatoes provided a new rosey hue and some tang, and the speckle of snipped chives brought a faint garlic note.  The fat, pink shrimp rounded it out into a meal—a risotto unlike any I’ve made before.  Here, too, I found well-worn comfort, with enough new thrown in to make me stop and appreciate.

Risotto with Shrimp, Tomatoes & Chives

Serves 2

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup arborio rice
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or, if you’ve got it, shrimp/seafood stock)
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup minced chives
a dozen or so medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
red pepper flakes, to taste

In a medium skillet with deep sides, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent (several minutes).  Add the rice, season with salt, and cook for a minute or so, stirring to coat the rice with the oil.  Add the wine, stirring and cooking until the wine is absorbed.  Add 1 cup of the broth/stock, stirring and cooking until the broth/stock is absorbed.  Continue to add the broth/stock, a half-cup at a time, stirring and cooking until the broth/stock is absorbed with each addition.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in another skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp, and season with salt and red pepper flakes.  Cook until the shrimp has just turned pink, flipping once.  Set aside.

Once the risotto has absorbed all the broth/stock, stir in the parmesan, chives, and shrimp and serve.

8 comments so far. »
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  1. Ann says on June 05 2013 at 2:57 pm:

    I love shrimp with tomato sauces and pasta! Have yet to do it with risotto, but this looks too good not to give it a try.

  2. Emily says on June 05 2013 at 3:23 pm:

    This looks amazing! And I’m so impressed that you make such dinners for yourself – an inspiration. I’m off to make the radish/asparagus salad for dinner… pretty excited.

  3. diane says on June 05 2013 at 5:54 pm:

    Your risotto is always great,and love all the different ingredients! MOM

  4. Melissa says on June 06 2013 at 5:39 am:

    I’ve been looking for a go to shrimp recipe for myself because my husband doesn’t like shrimp (he’s crazy!)

    I love the way you write; you make me pause and appreciate my own familiar. Oh and you also make me want to visit Seattle!

  5. Debbie says on June 06 2013 at 6:02 am:

    Love this post. I live in a Seattle suburb – and yearn to live closer into the city. And I just happen to love Kerry Park!

  6. Cathi Kahn says on June 07 2013 at 3:43 pm:

    Hi Kristin, Just wanted you to know how much I loved this recipe. It has all my favorite things. You are my go to place for something delicious.
    Can’t wait to make it for everyone this summer.
    Hope you, Kevin and Avery are enjoying your new home. We look forward to seeing you at Brittany’s wedding.

  7. Claudia ~ Food with a View says on June 09 2013 at 10:07 pm:

    Your risotto looks and sounds most inspiring, and so does your description how it feels to be in a new place, somewhere between getting used to it and being thrilled by all the new impressions.

  8. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on July 10 2013 at 10:06 am:

    Ann: Yes — it’s a class combination! And I love it here.

    Emily: Well, let’s be clear — it *was* a Saturday night, so I pulled out all the stops. ; )

    Mom: Why thank you! xo.

    Melissa: What a lovely thing to say. Made my day.

    Debbie: It’s such a lovely spot! We’ve been several times and only been able to see Mt. Rainier once, which was such a treat.

    Cathi: Hi! So glad to know you’re reading. We can’t wait for September in Park City!

    Claudia: Thanks so much.

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