Leek Risotto with Cajun Shrimp

Risotto is delicious but it is not something I often think of cooking or really want to bother with. I have attempted it a few times and it is tedious. Risotto requires a bit of time and a lot of patience….which I am usually short on! But I knew I wanted to try to make a risotto that even Gordon Ramsay would be proud of. Well, he’s never proud of anyone’s cooking but this risotto was delicious! It is soft and creamy filled with sauteed leeks that add a subtle onion flavor. If you are not very familiar with leeks, go grab some now because they will change your life and really up your cooking skills. They are in the onion family but are much sweeter than your typical yellow onions. In my opinion they are also richer and have a deeper flavor. They are a great substitution for onions when you are cooking when you want to amp up your dish and make it feel fancy.

  • 1 Cup Arborio Rice
  • 5-7 Cups* Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Freshly Grated Pecorino
  • 2 Leeks, Washed and Sliced
  • 1 Lb Shrimp, Cleaned
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, Divided
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes

To Make:

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the cleaned shrimp, milk, minced garlic, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir well to combine and set aside to marinate.
  2. Let’s make the risotto – this will require some patience. Grab a large pan and heat over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of butter and the arborio rice and stir for 2-3 minutes until the butter is melted.
  3. Add in about 2 cups of the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper and continue stirring until it is almost all absorbed.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and slowly add more chicken broth, little by little (about 1/2 cup at a time) and continue stirring to cook the rice. Do not add more broth until the broth in the pan is almost fully absorbed.
  5. This is very much a taste and test and continue adding broth – taste the risotto after you have added about 4 cups of chicken broth to see if the rice is cooked. If it is still crunchy, continue adding broth and cooking until the rice is fully cooked. You will know the risotto is finished when it starts to thicken and have a soft, fluffy consistency but still is able to hold together. Season again with salt and pepper and taste often and adjust the seasoning.
  6. While the risotto is cooking, heat another pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tbsp butter and the leeks. Cook the leeks for 8-10 minutes until they start to soften and brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  7. When the risotto is fully cooked, add in the pecorino and cooked leeks and stir to combine. Cover and set aside while you cook the shrimp.
  8. Heat a pan over medium heat and in the olive oil. Once hot, add the shrimp and the marinade it has been in. Cook the shrimp for 6-8 minutes until cooked through.
  9. Now that we have the risotto and shrimp cooked it is time to serve. Divide the risotto between 4 plates and top with shrimp. Drizzle the shrimp with the sauce the shrimp cooked in and top with additional pecorino. Serve and enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Leek Risotto with Cajun Shrimp

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