Friday, April 09, 2010

April 7th - Lemon Crab and Swiss Chard Risotto - Bright & Luscious

This was a fantastic use of the fresh picked crab they always have at Choices. It is rather reasonably priced as well! We often make crab cakes as well. I really do insist you either buy the fresh picked meat from the fish counter or the canned variety rather than the fake stuff. Yes you can use it in Sushi but it is not the same in a dish like this. It will not hold up in flavour or texture. It is not too expensive and you do not need too much for the flavour. Treat yourself, this dish is worth it. You can use another hearty green instead of the Swiss Chard but D is a fan of the Chard. I am not certain that Kale would have worked here.

Lemon Crab and Swiss Card Risotto

2c Clam juice
1l (4c) Water/Mild fish or veg stock
3 T Olive Oil
½ c Onion, finely diced (or Shallot, minced)
1t Sea Salt
1 c Arborio Rice
½ c Dry White Wine
½ lb (250g) fresh Crab Meat (do NOT do this with fake/Pollock meat. It is not the same!!)
1 T Unsalted Butter (just assume really that I never use Salted butter. It is easier to control seasoning.)
½ t lemon zest (zest of ½ lemon, use the whole if you do not want to waste.)
2 T lemon juice (About 1-2 Lemons)
1-2 c Swiss Chard, chopped small, 2cm square. (About 2-3 leaves)

Place clam juice and water in a small saucepan bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently to the side.

Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet in medium high. Add Onion and cook for a few minutes until onions are softened. Add rice and stir until coated in oil. Add the Wine in circular motion over the pan (not obligatory but I like to spread it). Cook until most of the liquid is almost fully absorbed.

As always with our Risottos, reduce heat to medium-low, no bubbles, not even simmer bubbles. You want to just see a constant gentle wafting steam. Ladle 1 ladles (2 if you’re in a hurry but you won’t save time! The rice will go when it wants) broth into rice, and stir until almost absorbed where when you draw a mote down the middle of the rice, the liquid does not close in on itself immediately, a few minutes. Repeat until rice is mostly cooked, test by tasting. This will take about 20 minutes. Season to taste with Sea Salt. Add the Swiss Chard and stir in with 1-2 more ladles to get the rice where you want it. We did not use all the broth, in the end, only slightly more than half which was strange. Perhaps the clam juice or the Swiss Chard or even ambient moisture was a factor.

Remove skillet (frypan)from heat or turn down the heat to superlow, stir in the butter, lemon zest and juice. Fold in the Crab Meat, trying not to break up any of the larger YUMMO pieces. Check the seasoning. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with a few drops of really nice Olive Oil and Chives if you have them. Pepper at the table. Wonderful! I may use more lemon zest next time. Amazing that even without the Parmesan it was still very creamy.

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