Extreme Prawn Risotto. Well worth the work.

Prawn Risotto (15 of 15)

Just what the world doesn’t need, another risotto recipe. Could I suggest that if you want a simple prawn risotto recipe, go back and search again. This one is not simple and needs lots of work. This extreme recipe produces an extreme result. It is worth the trouble. But, it is trouble. So if you want something nice and simple, it’s been nice knowing you. If you want something really, really delicious, get your sleeves rolled up. 

This recipe is in essence simple enough but, you will need to add my Extreme Prawn Stock to really bring out the prawn punch that makes this so special. The ingredients list is as follows:

  • 300 grammes of risotto rice (Arborio in this case)
  • 1 litre (2 pints of fish stock)
  • 12 – 18 Dublin Bay prawns shells, heads, claws and all the bits.
  • 2 onions
  • 1 red chilli
  • A small handful of chives
  • 2 glasses of white wine
  • 2 to 3 ‘Prawn Bombs’ (See post mentioned above.)
  • Some olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • A few small knobs of butter
  • An unwaxed lemon
Very fishy looking ingredients list. Well worth the trouble.

Very fishy looking ingredients list. Well worth the trouble.

Shell the prawns. Add the prawn shells, heads and other bits to fish stock in a saucepan, along with an additional 500ml (pint) of water. Add in the prawn bombs too. These will dramatically intensify the prawn flavour.

Not fishy enough for my tastes. Prawn shells, heads, claws and the long pink feelers go into the fish stock.

Not fishy enough for my tastes. Prawn shells, heads, claws and the long pink feelers go into the fish stock.

Simmer the heads and shells for half an hour to an hour. Sieve them off and reduce the resulting stock to about 1 litre (2 pints).

Straining the prawn bits. This is well worth the work involved.

Straining the prawn bits. This is well worth the work involved.

 Side note on leftover shells and bits: Put them in a plastic bag and get them straight into the waste. They will get as pungent as a week old skunk carcass if you don’t. This will not endear you or your risotto to your friends and family.

Reheat the prawn / fish stock, to just below boiling, while you chop up the onions, chilli and chives.

Economy of time. Do this chopping while the other stuff is reheating.

Economy of time. Do this chopping while the other stuff is reheating.

Soften the onions in some olive oil slowly bringing them to translucent. Then add the rice and stir to cover the rice with onion / oil.

Add in the rice and stir until it feels a bit gritty. Gritty is good at this stage.

Add in the rice and stir until it feels a bit gritty. Gritty is good at this stage.

When the rice has absorbed the oil and some of the onion flavour, it will feel gritty in the pan. The heat remains fairly low throughout the process. When it gets to this stage, add in one of the glasses of wine. pour the other and keep beside the stove. You will sip it over the next half an hour while you slowly, very slowly, prepare the risotto.

The first glass of wine goes into the risotto. The second into the chef.

The first glass of wine goes into the risotto. The second into the chef.

When the rice has absorbed the wine and the alcohol has evaporated, it will again start to feel gritty in the pan. Add a ladle of stock and stir gently until this has been absorbed. Take a sip of wine and repeat the process.

The pleasurable bit. Sip, stir, sip, stir.

The pleasurable bit. Sip, stir, sip, stir.

When the rice has absorbed all the stock and you have absorbed the glass of wine, you need to taste the rice. It should be nearly, but not quite, cooked. There is no way to guide you on this but to try it and to get a feel for it. The prawns will take only a few minutes to cook in the rice so get this bit right – No pressure!

At just the right moment, add in the prawns and stir. You have to work the right moment out for yourself.

At just the right moment, add in the prawns and stir. You have to work the right moment out for yourself.

Add in the chives and chilli when the prawns are about half-cooked.

Just about the right time to add the chives and chilli. The rice changes colour a little and looks delicious.

Just about the right time to add the chives and chilli. The rice changes colour a little and looks delicious.

Add in the few knobs of butter and put the lid on the pan. Leave for a few minutes. This will finish the rice and the prawns.

Grate on a little lemon rind when in the bowl. Give it a small squeeze of lemon juice too. Serve immediately with more of the wine as an accompaniment.

A scraping of lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon did no harm either....

A scraping of lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon did no harm either….

This will be the most prawn flavoured prawn risotto you will have ever tasted. At the risk of sounding like a boastful egotist, this is fantastic. Try it and you will agree.

 

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  • That looks delicious 🙂

    • Thanks MD,
      Undoubtedly the prawniest thing I have cooked in a while. I am planning a crab version very soon.

  • I note the comment re smelly shells etc; When I griddle steak windows and doors start opening and the fan gets switched on to max. BTW those prawns are in themselves extreme? I mean they look a bit like langoustines or however you spell that or am I ignorant (remember I am land-locked on the sub continent that is Surrey)

    • They are just that. Dublin Bay Prawns, Langoustines, Norway Lobster, call them what you will, they are delicious.

  • Nice dish fella – but please don’t tell me you hold any stock in that Southern Italian ‘Never fish and cheese together’ lark? (just wondered if you don’t use Parmesan in this dish outta personal taste or other – see above?)

    • I’d be adding a little Parmesan at the table in my house 🙂

      • Me to but I’m thinking Conor has something up his sleeve on this one!

        • At the risk of starting a fight, I don’t subscribe to the no cheese and seafood thing. I think when strict lines are drawn in sands of the food area, the sands can shift along with fashion or taste or whatever.
          In this case, I have fish stock, concentrated prawn stock, two of my prawn bombs (massive prawn flavour) and a raft of prawns too. Trust me, there is no shortage of flavour here. The cheese would have sent things over the top.

          • Totally agree Conor – my Brother in Law (Pugliese) will start fights over cheese and sea food…which is wonderful to experience due to the passion for the food (albeit slightly bannanas!!) – but that’s Italians for ya.
            Great, great dish by the way fella!

          • Thanks Rory. It really was worth the hours of preparation.

  • Looks wonderful, Conor! It is amazing how stock makes such a huge difference in a meal like this. As you said a little extra work, but well worth it!

    • Thanks Debbie. Having the little prawn bombs in the freezer really adds an extra dimension.

  • Great post! Can’t wait to try this out! For stinky shells & wee carcasses, I bag them and put them in the freezer till trash day.

    • If I did that Zia, I would end up with a freezer full of useless shells. I’m not organised enough to remember to empty the freezer on bin day. The trick is to double bag them and keep the bin a good distance from the house!

  • A fabulous risotto. And such lovely prawns!

    • Thanks Mimi. It was a tasty one. I have another seafood special coming up soon. Also a risotto but, featuring crab and a mystery (for now) ingredient.

  • Looks really good! One comment: I have yet to see a prawn with claws as big as what you feature! Reminds me of the crabs we pick up here! 🙂 This looks amazing, as I said…Was thinking that you might want to make this into a Risotto Tutto Mare, by adding clams and already cooked crab to top it off! Yummy! Be well – ^..^

    • Thanks Barb. Those are the Dublin Bay prawns. Your suggestion would be outrageously tasty.

  • Respect to make it from scratch, looks delicious!

    • Thanks Marie. It was well worth the bother.

  • The world always needs more risotto recipes!

    • That’s good because I am planning another seafood based risotto that should blow the socks off the local vicar. Not that he is invited. But, I think you know what I mean.

  • Extreme in this case seems well worth it! Lovely risotto!

    • Thanks. I love it when all that work really is worth the trouble. In this case, it was.

  • I’m always up for new well done risotto recipes and this is definitely one of them.

  • Stunning photography! Thanks, Bella 🙂

  • Excellent risotto! I particularly like the instruction: “You’ll have to work that out for yourself.” Ha! Also, really great to see that we’re not the only fanatics making our own improvised rich fish stocks. Bravo! Ken

  • Great work. It looks amazing

    • Thanks Ivan,
      I appreciate the kind words.
      Conor

  • Excellent recipe. I particularly love the wine going into the chef. Whichever way my risottos turn out, I am exceptionally skilled at that bit, even if I do say so myself.

    • It’ a good approach Tara. It also dulls the chef’s sense of perfection and everything starts to seem magnificent, as it should be.

  • Beautiful presentation. I can only imagine how great this tastes. Your photos are just gorgeous.

  • One of your best, Conor. My word that looks and sounds gorgeous. I’ve always added some Parmesan but the lemon would make it so much lighter and cleaner. Love it!

  • Another great post, Conor. The recipe is just perfect. I really like the idea of using both fish stock and prawn stock. I’ve made something similar with just prawn stock and lime juice instead of lemon. Great with sancerre or pouilly fumé. P.S. To get more flavor from the claws, you can bash them with something (e.g. a pan) to break them.

  • This dish has me drooling… I don’t care that it takes extra effort, it is worth it.

  • I love this too. And I agree with not adding Parmesan into this already vibrant and flavorful dish.

  • I love prawns and even though I will never be able to get Dublin prawns unless I visit your lovely country…I can imagine how good your risotto must be.

    • The solution is to get over here Karen. As you know, the welcome mat is out.

  • Wow! The risotto must be tastes so good!

    • It worked really well. A lot of work, but the tastiest risotto I have ever tasted!

  • Well done, Conor! This looks superb!

    • Thanks John, there are obviously Italian tones to the dish. I am glad it gets your approval.

  • I love this recipe. Merry Christmas!!

    • It’s well worth the bit of effort Maya. To you and yours too.

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