Provided by Mel & Sheryl London
Creamy and yet a bit toothsome, short grain Italian rice is laden with luscious, lemony seafood.
- 3 large shallots, finely minced (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ pounds mussels, scrubbed & bearded
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound small or medium size shrimp, shelled & deveined
- 3/4 pound sea scallops. Cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 1 small onion, minced (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed & finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned (we use Swanson)
- 2 cups Arborio or Vialone Italian short grain rice
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1/3 cup finely minced parsley
- Salt & pepper to taste
minutes, until the mussels open, sliding the pan over the burner a few times as they cook. Discard any that do not open. Cool slightly and remove the mussels from their shells, putting them into a large bowl. Reserve a few shells for garnish. Strain the mussel broth into a 2 quart saucepan & set aside.
Wipe out the skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp and the scallops, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and sauté, stirring frequently just until the shrimp turn pink and the scallops are opaque, about a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowls of shelled mussels.
In a 3 quart saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add the remaining shallots and minced onion. Sauté, stirring constantly for one minute, then add the fennel, lower the heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes more, until softened.
While the fennel is sautéing, add the chicken stock and the remaining half cup of wine to the mussel broth. Add water if necessary to bring the volume of liquid up to 5 or 6 cups altogether. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and then keep it hot over low heat. Add the rice and the saffron to the fennel mixture and stir over medium heat. The rice will turn transparent and then opaque in color. When the rice is opaque, add 1/3 cup of the hot liquid and simmer gently, stirring frequently. Continue adding about 1/3 to 1/2 cup hot liquid to the rice as the liquid is absorbed. Keep to a low simmer, stirring frequently until the rice is tender and creamy. Bite test a rice kernel after about 25 minutes. When the rice is tender, stir in all the seafood and cook for 1 minute only, until the seafood is reheated. Stir in the parley and salt & pepper to taste. If needed, add the last remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Serve in wide soup bowls and garnish with a few of the reserved mussels shells.
Serves 4 to 6
MEL & SHERYL LONDON are the authors of eleven cookbooks, including “A Seafood Celebration” and “The Fish Lovers” Cookbook.” They are winners of the James Beard Award and the Tastemaker Award and were finalists for the IACP Cookbook Award for “The Gourmet Garage Cookbook.” They have been loyal and loving customers of The Lobster Place since the company first opened its doors in Chelsea Market.