I really love Risotto and this is a super entertaining fare for guests and family alike.
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter (2 tbsp. each lot)
- 2 leeks, sliced fine (white section only)
- 3/4 cup Chardonnay white wine
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 6 cups homemade hot fish stock (see below)
- 1 fresh lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Asiago Cheese
- 1/2 lb Crabmeat (Dungeness if you can get it, never canned crabmeat)
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- lemon wedges for presentation
- 1 tsp chopped tarragon
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 large crab
- 1 tsp. white peppercorns (crushed)
- 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and cut in 4
- 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 lb bones and trimmings from a white fish (cod, halibut etc.)
Add water to a large saucepan (enough to cover a large crab by a couple of inches. Add salt and bring to a boil. When boiling, plunge crab into water and cook for ten-twelve minutes. Remove from the water and drain well. Reserve the water. Immerse crab in cold water to cool and when cool enough to handle then crack and remove all crab meat , cover with plastic and place in fridge.
(In a large saucepan add four cups of the strained cooking liquid from crab, two cups cold water, peppercorns, fennel, parsley and bones. Bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for ten minutes. Strain and taste to correct the seasoning if required. Measure four cups of broth and reheat. You keep this hot all the while making the risotto.
Place egg yolks, stock, dried tarragon, lemon juice in a double boiler. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Still whisking, add butter is small bits, allowing to completely melt before adding any more. When done, remove from heat and add the fresh tarragon. Do not boil or it will separate and become fodder for the garbage.
The risotto should be tender, glossy and very rich and moist. Grate the lemon peel and add the peel and the juice of the lemon to the risotto. Add remaining butter, cheese and crabmeat. The claw meat should be reheated separately and placed on top of each serving. Sprinkle with paprika (if using) and garnish the plate with lemon wedges.
Note: It looks daunting but it isnâ€™t. It is simply one of the most elegant side dishes you can serve anyone at any time. Be sure it is a special occasion prepared for people who enjoy trying new things and will, of course, praise your cooking to the sky. I would never lie to you. You may find they will never want to leave.