PRAWN AND LEEK SAFFRON RISOTTO

I wondered about this dish - saffron, and prawns?  It worked, oh yes, it worked.  One thing I have discovered about risotto is it is not a difficult dish to make.  It does need stirring, but not non-stop.  Let it simmer a bit in between stirring, and you end up with a most luscious risotto.  The other thing I discovered, is if you do not have white wine on hand, a few splashes of Balsamic Vinegar, works beautifully, as I first discovered with my Vegetarian risotto.  Risotto - a dish so yummy, a dish that is hard to resist.
12-15 prawns, peeled, deviened, head and tail off (I used frozen that I thawed)
1 cup of Arborio Risotto
butter and olive oil
3 1/2  - 4 cups chicken stock
2 splashes of Balsamic Vinegar
1 leek, trimmed, washed, sliced in half, and then thinly sliced
2 large minced garlic cloves
a good pinch of Saffron
salt and pepper
2 palm fulls of grated Parmesan Cheese
In a medium sauce pan, heat up the chicken stock, keeping on a light simmer.
In another saute pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and a good knob of butter to the pan on medium heat.  Saute the leeks and garlic, about 4 minutes, then add in about 1/4 cup of chicken stock, with a few splashes of Balsamic vinegar.  Turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
Add in another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and saute the prawns with salt and pepper until pink and opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Once cooked, add to the bowl of leeks and garlic.
Add in another drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter, turning the heat up to low medium, then add in the risotto and saffron stirring a few minutes until the rice looks shiny and the center in the rice is visible.  Begin adding in a ladle of  chicken stock, stirring to combine.  Wait until all the liquid is absorbed, before adding in another ladle full of stock.  Continue for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, adding in stock, until the rice is tender and most of the stock is used.
Add in the leeks and prawn mixture, stirring to combine and heat through.  Then add in the Parmesan cheese, stirring to incorporate, and serve hot.

Ina Gawne
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February 14, 2011
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