I have been dying to share this recipe with you ever since Christmas eve.But first, credit due where credit is deserved : this is my mother in-law’s special Christmas eve recipe, and these images (and instructions) come from our Christmas eve family dinner with them, which is her holiday tradition. Chéri and I helped in the making of this so that I could document it and be able to understand how to prepare it, perfectly. I hope we will have many more years together as a family making this amazing meal.
Just looking at these images is making me drool. the memory of this meal is still fresh in my mind and seriously, it was so delicious we were singing her praises for days afterwards. Mmmmmmmm!
A bowl of dry risotto rice
2 packets of saffran
one large white onion chopped finely
several garlic cloves and one bunch of washed and towel dried parsley chopped finely together.
one small glass of white wine.
chicken broth (about 3 to four saucepans full. We would melt bouillon cubes in simmering water, about one bouillon cube per 0.75 liters).
pepper and salt (gros sel or sea salt)
Ingredient amounts are very eyeballed, this is not a recipe requiring exact measurements but it does require frequent taste testing!
Fill your deep dish sautée pan with a thick layer of olive oil and turn the heat on medium. Once the oil is hot, put the diced onion in and let it “get blond” (not brown). Stir it smoothly and frequently.
Make sure your chicken stock/bouillon cube is melted/hot in a saucepan.
Pour your glass of dry white wine (chablis is good) into the onion and oil mix and continue stirring with the heat turned a bit lower.
Add your two packets of saffran. Continue stirring.
By now you should be getting the idea that there is continuous stirring involved in the making of this dish!
Once the onion/oil/wine/saffran mix is “blond” enough, you can add the dry risotto rice, and stir it around in the mix to allow it to infuse with the flavors you have been mixing around in the pan.
Add a few dashes of pepper.
Now you will start ladling in the broth slowly and one ladle at a time into the pan, with the heat on medium, while continuously stirring and allowing the rice to soak up the liquid. Add salt to taste. You should put in one broth ladle, then stir until the liquid is mostly incorporated, then you can add another ladle.
You should use about 2 liters of broth, and it should take about 45 minutes (of stirring and ladling) to get the rice soft and plump. Periodic taste testings are highly recommended. We then covered the rice, turned off the heat and left it for another hour, and I think this helped the rice become as al dente and amazing as it was. We reheated it on the stove top quickly just before serving, while making the scallops and shrimp.
For the scallops and shrimp, take the garlic and parsley mix, heat it in a sauté pan with a generous amount of olive oil., heat it slowly on medium heat so as not to burn it. Add the scallops and shrimp after about one minute of heat, and stir gently to cover all sides of the seafood with the parsley/garlic mixture. Let them cook for about 5-7 minutes and then flip each little piece over to cook on the other side for 5-7 minutes.
Since youhave reheated your risotto while the scallops are cooking, and then you serve the scallops and shrimp over the rice. This dish can be accompanied with chilled champagne, or a dry white wine. I also suggest foie gras with onion confite as a starter, and macarons as a dessert!
And merci again to my mother in-law for making this divine meal with us, that we enjoyed immensely.