Risotto can seem daunting but making this low and slow dish is surprisely calming. The flavors and texture come together in this one bowl meal with the tang of the lemon, bite of the shrimp, crunch from the haricot verts and creaminess from the added cream cheese. If you wish to substitute the cream cheese, try using a splash of cream, dollop of goat cheese or shredded parmesan. Sautéed fennel adds a touch of sweetness, but you can leave it out if you prefer and sprinkle on a little dill at the end instead. Risotto requires no special technique, just the patience to keep stirring. Use a ladle to add liquid in even amounts. Voted as a staff favorite, this warm and hearty meal is perfect for two for a weeknight meal.
2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup haricots verts (French green beans), cut into 1/2-in. pieces
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Est. added sugars 1
How to Make It
Combine stock and 1 1/2 cups water in a large glass measure or microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until warm.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, chopped fennel bulb, thyme, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup stock mixture; cook 4 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated. Add 2 cups stock mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often until each portion is absorbed before adding the next, about 12 minutes total.
Stir in 1/4 cup stock mixture, beans, and salt; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in shrimp; cook 4 minutes or until done. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup stock mixture, rind, and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.
This is a staple in our household. My husband and I are both avid home chefs and this is one that we make often. We usually alter recipes (adding more or less of an ingredient/modify existing recipe by adding additional herbs etc) but this is one that is awesome as is. Absolutely worth the effort!
We really like the flavors of this recipe and love risotto but it tests my patience every time! It definitely took longer to cook than the recipe says. I probably used too much lemon because I was afraid of the fennel overpowering the dish but would have been fine following the recipe as written. I'd love to find the fresh haricot verts, I didn't find them so used a frozen version. Will make again!
I have failed at making risotto before, but this worked out well. I think before I was not patient enough constantly stirring and making sure all the liquid had soaked in before adding more. This time it came out perfectly! Great flavors and I love the taste of lemon in it. I didn't add the fennel fronds on top at the end. I didn't miss it at all.
This dish tastes amazing. I quadrupled it, because I have a large family, and I *never* cook for two. It took forever. I also live in the boondocks where no market has ever heard of a fennel bulb (but we got chitlins!) I also added more shrimp because we like-a da shrimpies. But I logged onto myrecipes.com for the first time all year just to save it as a favorite so I can add it to the rotation of monthly dishes. I mean, Good. Stuff. Notes on quadrupling: Use a large stockpot. Pre-chopped ingredients will save you time. You don't need quite as much oil or stock, but you do still need to add the stock 1/2 c. at a time, which really adds up when you're adding 8 c. It took about 1.25 hours of basically constant stirring. (Can you say "Foot massage"?!)
For a one dish, 2 serving meal, the portion size is generous. I usually avoid risotto recipes because of the constant stirring but while this one took about 1 hour total cooking time (I used green beans vs. haricots) but this one only needed occasional stirring and tending to. Flavors were great. We really enjoyed this. Would make again.
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