I had a pretty interesting meeting and interview today with the subject of my next article, and Jen (who was driving) kindly agreed to make a detour on the way home so we could pick up my fish order. It’s great that the fish is back, and we took excellent advantage of its return: wild salmon, scallops, and–most interestingly, because of a long hiatus–shrimp. We haven’t bought shrimp for a long time, because they’re mostly farmed in horribly destructive ways or wild-caught in horribly destructive ways. These, from Laughing Bird in Belize, are raised in inland ponds with filtered seawater and vegetarian feed. The company has received approval from the World Wildlife Fund.
So with these treasures in mind I returned home and groped the garden for some of the peas that are coming in with wild abandon right now. There were some chicken bones in the fridge, and a funny sort of mini doughnut of beef gristle that I pried out of the meat grinder after making burgers last night, so I tossed them in a pot with some water and made a quick stock while I minced and sweated half an onion. Then I added rice, then white wine, then began the process of ladling in stock and stirring.
When the rice was just al dente, I added the shelled peas, the shrimp, and some chiffonaded radicchio and oregano, stirring until the shrimp were cooked through and bright pink. I poured the last of the broth in to lubricate the risotto for serving, having guessed pretty luckily about the quantity needed for the random amount of rice I dumped into the pot. And dusted the bowls with Espelette pepper for a much-needed lift; this really could have used some saffron for that extra something, but the hour was late and it’s not normal for me to have the stock power-cooking while I’m already soffrito-ing the meal itself, so I forgot. Sue me. Better yet, tell me you wouldn’t hit this:
I thought so.