Unconventional Wisdom

Risotto with Lentil Curry Puree & Cornmeal Crushed Shrimp:

It’s a sunny afternoon, and although it’s 30 degrees with three feet of ever-so-slowly melting snow, there is a chorus of birds singing in the trees. In New England, the gap between the end of a hard winter and the green shimmer of spring can be long and impatient. To that note, risotto remains one of those dishes that deserves a slow approach, with equal parts love and patience, and never rushed. Two unsuspecting Risotto with Lentil Curry Puree & Cornmeal Crushed Shrimpflavors collide in this whimsical recipe that makes this dish profound. As always, I gaze into a refrigerator in search of ingredients to inspire like a sculptor seeing form within a flat slab of marble. Truth be told, the lentil curry puree here was a remnant from a different dish, but was the secret ingredient for this recipe. The creamy texture of the risotto bursts with flavor from the lentil curry puree. Topping with the crunchy corn coating of the spicy shrimp also delivered an eclectic accompaniment. Unconventional yes, but with delicious results that brings smiles to faces with each delicate bite.

SECRET INGREDIENT:  Curry

TIP: The lentil curry puree can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated.

Risotto with Lentil Curry Puree & Cornmeal Crushed Shrimp

For Lentil Curry Puree

  • Lentils (1 ½ cups, dry)
  • Onion (1 cup, chopped)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, chopped)
  • Olive oil (2 Tbl)
  • Cumin (3 tsp)
  • Curry powder (2 tsp)
  • Coriander (1 tsp)
  • Ground Ginger (1 tsp)
  • Cayenne (to taste)
  • Cilantro (1/4 cup, chopped)
  • Lemon juice (2 Tbl, fresh)
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper
  1. In a sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water and lentils to a boil. Reduce to low, season with pinch of salt, and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes. Then transfer to food processor and puree.
  2. In a skillet over medium high heat, warm olive oil and add onion and garlic. Add cumin, curry, coriander, ginger, and cayenne, and cook for 4 minutes. Add lentil puree and cook for five minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For Risotto

  • Olive oil (2 Tbl)
  • Onion (1 ½ cups, chopped)
  • Garlic (3 cloves, chopped)
  • Arborio Rice (1 cup)
  • Butter (2 Tbl)
  • White Wine (1/3 cup)
  • Chicken stock (6 cups)
  • Parmesan Reggiano (1 cup, grated)
  • Parsley (1/2 cup, chopped)
  • Lentil Curry Puree (1 ½ cups)
  1. Simmer stock in sauce pan on low heat.
  2. In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil and sauté onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add rice and cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  3. Add butter and melt. Then add wine and deglaze pan.
  4. Reduce heat to low and then add 1 cup of the simmering stock.
  5. Add a ladle of stock every 5-8 minutes and stir to incorporate. Continue adding stock slowly one ladle at a time, until rice is al dente, about 50 minutes.
  6. Stir in lentil puree and cook for 3 more minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, and stir in parmesan and parsley. Season to taste.

For Shrimp

  • Large Shrimp (1/2 lb, peeled and deveined)
  • Coriander (2 tsp)
  • Cayenne (to taste)
  • Salt & fresh black pepper
  • White Cornmeal (3 Tbl)
  • Olive oil (2 Tbl)
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except oil.
  2. In a large skillet over high heat, warm oil and then add shrimp. Cook 3 minutes, then flip shrimp and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Risotto with Lentil Curry Puree & Cornmeal Crushed Shrimp

-- Weather When Posted --

  • Temperature: 26°F;
  • Humidity: 75%;
  • Heat Index: 26°F;
  • Wind Chill: 26°F;
  • Pressure: 30.01 in.;

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