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Lobster and Sweet Pea Risotto

Yields7 Servings

Being a chef in Nova Scotia has its perks for sure, and having the freshest lobster available year-round is one of them. Although the simplest preparations are often best for lobster, it is rather versatile and allows for some creativity too. This is a signature lobster dish of mine, but also one that captures the essence of a summer garden: sweet peas out of the shell. Risotto continues to be one of the most desired dishes on restaurant menus, and home cooks are not nearly as intimidated as they once were to dive in and try making it themselves. For a real boost of flavour, take the time to make the lobster broth if you can, but if you just can’t manage it, chicken broth is fine too.

Lobster and Sweet Pea Risotto by Chef Craig

 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) butter, plus 2 tbsp/30 mL for finishing risotto
 2 shallots, minced
 1 stalk celery, minced
 1⁄4 fennel bulb, minced
 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt
 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
 1 cup (250 mL) superfine arborio or carnaroli rice
 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) white wine
 4 cups (1 L) Lobster Broth (recipe follows)
 3⁄4 cup (175 mL) fresh sweet peas
 2 cups (500 mL) chunked cooked lobster meat (about 2 lobsters)
 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) creamy goat cheese
 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) sliced fresh chives
Lobster Broth
 2 cooked lobsters
 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken or vegetable stock
 1 cup water

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) butter; sauté shallots, celery, fennel, salt, and pepper until vegetables are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice; cook, stirring, until rice is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine; cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed. One ladle at a time, add Lobster Broth and cook, stirring constantly. When half the broth has been added, add the peas to the pot. Add the remaining broth to the pot and cook, stirring, for about 14 to 15 minutes. Stir in lobster meat; cook until rice is tender but still el dente, 1 to 4 minutes. Stir in goat cheese, Parmesan and remaining 2 tbsp/30 mL butter. Remove heat; let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Add chives.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Lobster Broth

Remove meat from lobster; set aside for Lobster and Sweet Pea Risotto (recipe above). Break shells into small pieces; add to stockpot along with chicken stock and water and simmer for 1 hour. In batches, transfer to the blender; pulse together shells and stock until thickened and pea-sized pieces of shells remain; through a sieve, strain and discard solids. Return stock to pot; keep warm until ready to use for risotto.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 7