The nice thing about buying shrimp with heads and shells is that you can make a very flavorful shrimp stock using those heads and shells. Together with zucchini and tomatoes, this makes for a very nice risotto. To have a fresh and light tomato flavor, I used fresh tomatoes for this risotto. The flavors blend very nicely, and are enhanced by some basil and lemon.
For 2 servings
600 grams (1.3 lb) large shrimp with heads and shells
130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice, such as carnaroli
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
1 Tbsp butter
7 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, minced
500 grams (1.1 lbs) plum tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon zest and juice, to taste
Peel the shrimp and reserve the heads and shells. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the shrimp heads and shells. Cook over medium-high heat until the shrimp shells are pink all over.
Add half a litre (2 cups) of water.
Stir with a wooden spatula to deglaze, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, cut both ends off the zucchini, then cut it into 8 wedges and each wedge into pieces of about 1 cm (1/2 inch).
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the zucchini.
Stir-fry the zucchini over high heat until golden on all sides. The zucchini should still have some ‘bite’.
Drain the zucchini on paper towels, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reserve.
Devein the shrimp by first scoring the back of each shrimp with a sharp knife…
…and then removing the vein. Cut the shrimp into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces, season with salt, and refrigerate.
Put the whole tomatoes into the food processor…
Use a foodmill, first with a coarse sieve…
…and then with a fine sieve…
…to remove the seeds and pieces of skin from the tomato pulp, and put the tomato pulp in a saucepan.
When the shrimp heads have simmered for 20 minutes, the shrimp stock is ready. Turn off the heat.
Strain the shrimp stock into the same saucepan as the sieved tomato pulp.
Make sure to squeeze out the shrimp heads directly into the saucepan, as that is where most of the flavor is.
Bring the tomato and shrimp mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to keep it simmering but not boiling. Season with a bit of salt.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide, low, thick-bottomed pan. Sauté a small minced onion in the oil until slightly golden.
Add 130 grams of risotto rice, and toast the rice until it is very hot.
When the rice is hot, add 80 of dry white wine.
Stir over medium heat until the wine has been absorbed.
Add a ladle of the tomato and shrimp stock mixture to the rice.
Stir the rice over medium heat until the liquid has been absorbed. Once that happens, add another ladle of stock and keep stirring. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked al dente, about 15 to 18 minutes. (If you run out of stock, use water.)
When the risotto is cooked to your liking, turn off the heat…
…add a tablespoon of butter (in small pieces), and stir until it has been incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow the risotto to rest for a couple of minutes while you cook the shrimp.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp.
Stir fry over high heat until the shrimp has almost been cooked through, about a minute.
Now add the zucchini to the shrimp, and stir until it has been heated through.
Add half of the zucchini and shrimp to the risotto…
…and stir to mix.
Add grated lemon zest and lemon juice to taste (but not too much).
Serve the risotto on preheated plates, topped with the remaining shrimp and zucchini.
This works well with many dry white wines. In fact, by changing the amount of lemon juice and lemon zest you can make it work with even more wines.
This is not regular veal saltimbocca, but a Spanish twist made with Iberico pork (cooked sous-vide) and Jamón Iberico.