Friday, December 07, 2007

Jesse's Birthday Dinner: Alaskan King Crab Legs and Mushroom-Leek Risotto

Waiting for the pictures for this post (which were on Jesse's camera) has delayed almost a week of posting, so I'm going to write this up sans pictures, and add them in when Jesse gets around to giving them to me (hint, hint). He wanted crab and risotto for his birthday, separately. I bought the crab legs precooked at Andronico's and steamed them for a minute just to take the chill off, then served them with hot melted butter. We placed the butter dish on a glass of hot water to keep it hot and melty.

For the risotto, I basically followed this recipe with a few modifications (no truffles, for one). It's astoundingly simple and possibly the most decadent, delicious risotto ever. Three steps:

1. Cut 2 large leeks lengthwise, then slice thinly crosswise (you will have thin half-moons). Boil in 1c heavy cream with salt and pepper until cream is thickened and leeks are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

2. Slice 1 onion and a lot of mushrooms; I used a mix of various mushrooms, including porcini, which gave a deep woodsy flavor to the finished dish. Toss the onions and mushrooms with salt, pepper, and 1/4c melted butter, and roast at 400 degrees until browned (about 15 minutes).

3. Make basic risotto: dice 1 onion, saute in butter and oil, stir in 1 1/2c arborio rice and cook until translucent, then deglaze with 1/2c vermouth. Let vermouth boil away, and slowly add hot broth (you'll need about 5c), stirring, until risotto is cooked.

Before serving, combine risotto with leeks and mushrooms and 1/2c grated parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste; serve with more parmesan on the side.

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