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Dublin Bay Prawn Risotto: A Taste of Elegance from the Sea

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Dublin Bay Prawn Risotto is a luxurious dish that marries the creamy richness of Arborio rice with the sweet and delicate flavors of Dublin Bay prawns. This recipe celebrates the freshness of seafood in a comforting and satisfying way, making it an ideal choice for seafood enthusiasts and those looking to indulge in a taste of Dublin’s coastal offerings.

Ingredients:

For the Risotto:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 lb Dublin Bay prawns (shelled and deveined), reserve some whole prawns for garnish
  • 4 cups seafood or chicken broth, kept warm
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

For the Dublin Bay Prawn Stock:

  • Shells and heads from the prawns
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Dublin Bay Prawn Stock:

  • In a large saucepan, combine the prawn shells and heads with water, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes to extract flavors.
  • Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Keep the prawn stock warm over low heat.

2. Prepare the Risotto:

  • In a separate large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in minced garlic and Arborio rice, coating the rice with the oil and butter mixture. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Pour in the white wine and cook until the wine is absorbed by the rice, stirring constantly.

3. Cook the Risotto:

  • Begin adding the warm prawn stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. This process will take about 18-20 minutes.
  • When the rice is creamy and tender yet still slightly firm to the bite (al dente), stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and remaining tablespoon of butter.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

4. Prepare the Dublin Bay Prawns:

  • While the risotto is cooking, heat a separate skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add a little olive oil and quickly sauté the reserved whole prawns until pink and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

5. Finish and Serve:

  • Divide the risotto among serving plates or bowls.
  • Arrange the sautéed Dublin Bay prawns on top of each portion of risotto.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Serve Dublin Bay Prawn Risotto immediately, accompanied by a crisp green salad or crusty bread.

Tips for Success:

  • Risotto Texture: The key to a creamy risotto is gradually adding warm broth and stirring frequently to release starch from the rice.
  • Prawn Stock: Homemade prawn stock enhances the seafood flavor of the risotto, but you can use seafood or chicken broth as a substitute.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh Dublin Bay prawns for the best flavor and texture.
  • Garnish Options: Experiment with additional garnishes such as lemon zest or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for added complexity.

Variations:

  • Herb Infusion: Add chopped fresh herbs like basil or tarragon to the risotto during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Vegetable Addition: Stir in blanched asparagus tips or peas for a burst of color and freshness.
  • Creamy Finish: Finish the risotto with a splash of heavy cream for an even richer texture.

Conclusion:

Dublin Bay Prawn Risotto is a sophisticated dish that combines the creamy elegance of Arborio rice with the delicate sweetness of Dublin Bay prawns. This recipe allows you to savor the essence of fresh seafood in every bite, making it a memorable addition to any seafood lover’s repertoire. Whether enjoyed as a main course for a dinner party or a cozy meal at home, Dublin Bay Prawn Risotto promises to delight with its luxurious flavors and comforting appeal. Enjoy the flavors of Dublin Bay in a dish that celebrates the best of seafood and culinary craftsmanship.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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