Shrimp Risotto with Leeks and Peas

A simple and elegant dish and a nice introduction to see that risotto isn’t as hard as you might think.

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined. Reserve the shells.
1 lg shallot, minced
1 leek, washed and chopped into crescents.
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T chives, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken or seafood stock
1 T olive oil
3/4 cup arborio rice
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
salt to taste
the juice of 1 lemon

Put the stock and shrimp shells in a sauce pan and heat to warm, not even to a simmer.
Let the shells infuse the stock with shrimp flavor.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Once heated add shallot and leek.
Cook for 3 – 5 minutes until it all starts wilting but not browning.
Add garlic and cook another minute.
Add the rice and stir until the rice gets a bit toasty.
Toss in a pinch of salt and the wine. Cook, stirring, until the wine gets absorbed.

Now the fun begins.

Add a ladlefull (1/2 cup) of stock and stir until the liquid is nearly absorbed.
Add another ladle and stir again.
Repeat the process until the rice is soft, but still has a bit of chew with no hard part. The risotto should be fairly thick and look really creamy. When you run the spoon through it, it should part but then slowly come back together.
This will usually take 30 – 35 minutes.

Once it is at this stage, add the peas, shrimp, and lemon juice. Stir until the peas are heated through and the shrimp is cook, just a couple of minutes.
Either stir in the chives or plate and garnish with them.

Serve immediately.