Same old slippers, same old rice, same old glimpses of paradise

My favorite dishes are usually one pot meals that have everything in it: some sort of carb, a protein and sometimes a veggie. Fried rice easily falls into that category and whenever I feel homesick for familiar foods, I turn towards that dish. Most recently however, I’ve been turning towards fried rice’s Italian cousin, risotto.

Risotto is creamier than fried rice and with the addition of lobster and saffrons it becomes decadent. It should really be reserved for a special meal but with the stash of flash-frozen, precooked lobster in the freezer, I’ve made it whenever I get the hankering for something extra-nice. If lobster is not your thing, I’ve made many variations of risotto with mushrooms, asparagus and even bacon. But the lobster is my favorite. The secret ingredient is the lobster base.

I’ve been searching for lobster base for a while now perusing grocery stores and I’ve only managed to find the usual chicken, beef or vegetable stock. But last year, I scored the jackpot and found it at Iowa Meat Farms of all places! Along their wall of stocks and bases and far away from their specialized meat counter is a bevy of sauces and soup bases including a seafood and shrimp. A good place for those like me that don’t have the time or make their own stock from scratch.

The lobster risotto itself is very easy to throw together. With some white wine, a pinch of saffron, garlic, rice, some lobster meat and of course the lobster base along with a lot of stirring, it’s a very satisfying meal.

Lobster Risotto
1/2 lb lobster meat, precooked
2 cups Arborio rice or other short-grained rice labeled for risotto
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
Pinch of saffron
1/4 cup white white
4 cups lobster stock

Crush the saffron into the white wine and stir well. Chop lobster meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Heat lobster stock in pot and leave simmering on stove.

In a heavy, medium-sized pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes making sure it doesn’t turn brown.

Add the rice and stir well for about a minute. Add wine and saffron mixture to rice, stirring to combine until wine is absorbed by the rice. Add 1/2 cup of heated lobster stock while continuing to stir. As rice absorbs stock, add 1/2 cup until all of the stock is absorbed. Add lobster meat, cover pot for 10-15 minutes. Top with grated parmesan cheese if desired.

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