From Dish Rachelle:
I’m not going to lie, this has been a very exciting – and anxiety-provoking – time (two sides of the same coin, at least for me). My first book comes out THIS TUESDAY and it’s the culmination of many years of hard work. Writing is a solitary process and over these past few weeks, the onslaught of reviews and write-ups has forced me to confront the thrilling and sometimes terrifying reality that the book has passed through my hands and is now public property. It’s a dream-outcome as well as a big adjustment. And what does this have to do with food? Well, in many ways this feels like a transitional moment in my life, when uncertainty rules, and homey touchstones are keeping me sane. So, cooking some Asian-style comfort food and goofing off in the kitchen with my husband is basically perfection.
For the shrimp (serves 2):
16 40 count uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (adjust portion size if shrimp is bigger/smaller)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. miso paste
1 tbsp. soy sauce
a splash of mirin
Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl with clean, fresh shrimp (I used to my hands). When ingredients are evenly distributed, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, until ready to grill.
Meanwhile, start the risotto:
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1- 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped
2 qts. chicken or vegetable stock (you won’t use all of it but good to have it handy)
1/4 dry white wine
Greens of two scallions, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
Dish Danielle has given us some great instructions for preparing risotto. Basically, it needs to be coddled. Heat some olive oil in a large, flat bottomed saucepan and saute onions, garlic and ginger with a pinch of salt to prevent browning. In a separate saucepan, heat a quart of stock and keep a ladle handy. Add risotto rice to the onion mixture and stir to combine, 1-2 minutes. Start ladling warm stock over the rice, a few ladles at a time, and stir frequently, watching the rice expand. Add the white wine and get a little tipsy off the fumes. When the risotto begins to dry, add more stock – if you finish the first quart, you know where to find more. Continue 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked to al dente. Stir in scallions, lemon zest and peas and keep over heat until everything’s warmed through. Season to taste.
Spray a grill pan with cooking spray (if you don’t have a grill pan, but are lucky enough to have access to a real grill, feel free to use it. You can also cook the shrimp in a frying pan, you just won’t get the nice little grill marks.) Arrange shrimp in a single layer and cook, about a minute and half per side, until they’re pink all the way through.
If you’d like to serve this dish with asparagus – or any other green vegetable – steam it while you’re cooking the shrimp. For extra points, use a particularly fat asparagus stalk as a microphone.