Creamy. Rich. Comforting. Decadent. And packed with flavor. It doesn’t get much better than a good risotto when you want comfort food. Add in some crawfish and you’ve got a dinner no seafood lover can resist.
Yes, you will be stirring for quite some time with this recipe. It’s risotto. That goes without saying. But it is SO worth it.
Risotto is a bit of a labor of love, but besides the stirring process it’s actually very easy to make. If you’ve never made risotto before, now is the time! It’s really not difficult at all. No need to go to a restaurant to enjoy a delicious risotto when you can make it at home!
Now, this recipe is not exactly a diet food. Unlike most of my dinner recipes, this one is not what I would call “healthy”. This is more of a treat. That being said, it is made with high-quality real food ingredients and I believe that in moderation, most real food ingredients can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. As long as your body can tolerate them, of course.
If you would like to make this recipe dairy free, simply replace the butter/ghee with olive oil and leave out the cheese. It will not be quite the same as the buttery cheesy risotto, but it will still taste fabulous and be nice and creamy!
High-quality ingredients are super important in this recipe. Since this is a treat, there is no reason to skimp on ingredients here. The flavors, textures, and overall experience will be far superior when using superior ingredients.
I recommend staying away from crawfish imported from Asian countries as they are often farmed in polluted waters. Additionally, I prefer to use Carnaroli rice in my risottos because of the wonderful texture and higher levels of starch (i.e. an even creamier risotto). There are many kinds of rice that can be used to make risotto though, so feel free to substitute another risotto rice if you’d like. Keep in mind that changing the rice may change the cooking time and amount of stock needed though. I do recommend using real parmigiano-reggiano in this recipe because, yeah, it would be a sin to put fake parmesan in a risotto. Just putting that out there.
My biggest tip for this recipe is to stir, stir, stir! Stirring helps coax out all the starches from the rice to give the risotto its characteristic creaminess.
- 12 oz (340g) cooked & peeled crawfish tails
- 2½ cups (0.6L) chicken stock (low sodium)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee, divided (replace with olive oil for dairy free option)
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1¼ cup (250g) Carnaroli rice, dry/unrinsed
- 1 cup dry white wine, room temperature
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 oz (85g) parmesan cheese, finely grated
- ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
- parsley for garnish
- Dry the crawfish tails with paper towels and allow them to come to room temperature while you make the risotto base.
- Warm the chicken stock in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Warming to a steam, but not a simmer.
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, add the olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter or ghee and heat over medium heat.
- Add the shallot, onion, garlic, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally. You don't want to brown the vegetables here, so if you start to get any browning, turn down the heat a bit.
- After the vegetables have softened, add the rice to the pot and stir well until the rice is covered in the oils. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the rice for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The rice should be toasting a bit during this phase.
- Next, add the wine and continue to stir.
- Once the wine has absorbed into the rice (~2 mins), begin ladling the stock into the risotto pot. **Add one ladle of stock at a time**
- Add one ladle, decrease the heat to a simmer, and stir constantly until the liquid is almost all absorbed. You want to stir a lot to work the starch out of the rice. This is what gives the risotto it's creaminess. Just keep stirring, just keep stirring!
- Once almost all of the liquid is absorbed, ladle in a second ladle of stock. Stir, stir, stir.
- Repeat this process of ladling in stock and stirring until the rice is soft but still has a little bite to it. This phase will take about 15 minutes. You may not use all of the stock. I usually have a little leftover. If you run out of stock, you can use water to cook the remainder of the rice.
- Once the rice is cooked, taste the risotto and add more salt if desired.
- Remove the risotto from the heat and add 1 Tbsp butter or ghee, crawfish, parmesan, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. If it looks a little too thick, add in a little more stock until you get a creamy, smooth texture.
- Cover the risotto with a lid and let it sit for 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
What’s your favorite kind of risotto? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!
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