The Literate Chef

Breaking Out of the Food-Induced Coma

In General Articles on January 12, 2012 at 6:06 PM

We were a week into the New Year and attempting to break out of the holiday season food-induced coma of the prior six week period.  That coupled with the need for me to fit into my tux and my wife into her gown for a black tie event a few weeks down the road, led us back to seafood meals.

Our immediate thought the other night was for some shrimp, perhaps sautéed in butter, garlic and white wine and maybe a side of rice to absorb the sauce. But upon visiting the fish market, freshly harvested Bay Scallops were prominently displayed and attracted our attention.  Then it hit me; combine the shrimp and scallops with the rice and, presto, Seafood Risotto! All that was needed were some mussels to round out the seafood medley and we would have a true Frutti di Mare. Alas, there were no mussels to be had.

My wife who has an eye for these things, suggested that we go ahead with the risotto idea, and to add some color and flavor use up the leftover arugula and scallions, which had gone into the previous evening’s salad. A brilliant idea, I thought.

Making a risotto is fairly easy, but does involve active participation for perhaps an hour or so. However, the result is well worth the effort, so don’t be deterred by the time factor. Arborio Rice, which is a short-grained rice, is considered to be the best for making a risotto. It has a high starch content which produces an exquisite creaminess, as well as the ability to absorb plenty of moisture without losing its bite, its al dente quality.

Yesterday as my thoughts remained in the seafood mode, I visited the fish market again and purchased some flounder fillets along with a 1 pound can of crabmeat. These ingredients were melded into Baked Stuffed Flounder Fillets. Both of these meals were a welcome and delicious respite from our hearty holiday fare.

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