Shrimp Risotto

This shrimp risotto is light on calories but full of flavor. Beef broth, garlic, shallots, Parmesan and shrimp add depth to this creamy dish.

Risotto is a classic Italian dish known for its creamy texture and rich flavor. But eaters beware, that's surely not an innocent bowl of rice you're dealing with. I looked up the nutrition stats from some popular restaurants and check this out: One popular shrimp risotto had 620 calories, 30 grams of fat and 2,530 milligrams of sodium. A lobster risotto at a different restaurant had 1,103 calories and 25 grams of fat. Yet another joint served a cheese risotto with 1,280 calories and 110 grams of fat. Jeez, what kind of cheese are they using? Or is it the whole cow? The vegetable and lemon risottos scored a little better, but not much.

I found a way to lighten up shrimp risotto without taking away its creamy goodness. The key is quality ingredients and lots of stirring. I replace most of the fat with flavorful broth – beef broth. That might sound odd, but it gives the risotto a “surf and turf” quality. I add roasted garlic for depth of flavor and I stir frequently for the entire 20-25 minute cooking time (stirring encourages the starch and broth to create a creamy sauce).

For a more decadent version, fold in chunks of cooked lobster just before serving (let the mixture heat through if the lobster is cold).

Shrimp Risotto
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced shallots

2 tablespoons roasted garlic (sold in the produce section with the jarred fresh garlic)

1 cup Arborio (short grain) rice
4-5 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1/2 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup frozen petite peas (keep frozen until ready to use)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until the rice becomes translucent. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and stir until the broth is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of the broth and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time (add the next 1/2 cup once the liquid from the previous 1/2 cup is absorbed) for 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy, stirring frequently.

Stir in the shrimp, peas and parmesan cheese and cook until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, the peas are warm and the cheese melts, about 2-3 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4
Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 328
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 47 grams
Sugars: 2 grams
Protein: 23 grams
Sodium: 653 milligrams
Cholesterol: 91 milligrams
Fiber: 4 grams
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