Grilled Apricot Glazed Shrimp with Champagne Risotto

This has all the makings of a special meal, maybe even Valentine's Day. Surprisingly sweet, elegant and delicious. Easy to pull off with a minimal amount of planning and preparation. The risotto recipe is adapted from the "Falling Cloudberries Cookbook" by Tessa Kiros. I love her style of writing and beautiful illustrations. Make sure to start the shrimp marinating and then begin the risotto for best results.

Ingredients for shrimp marinade:

1 cup apricot preserves
1 lemon (juiced and zested rind)
4 teaspoons low salt soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds large shrimp (peeled and deveined)

To prepare:

Melt preserves in sauce pan on medium heat, remove from heat, cool. Pour into glass bowl then add zested lemon and juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and the pepper. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Preheat grill, cook about 2 minutes per side, or until shrimp are opaque.

Ingredients for risotto:

3 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 small shallots (finely chopped)
2 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 1/4 cups champagne
4 cups of water heated on stove-top
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup grated unsmoked scarmoza or caacciotta cheese (types of dry mozzarella)
3 Tablespoons of butter

To Prepare:

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with high sides. Saute' the shallots gently for 5 minutes, until they are softened and slightly golden. Add the rice and cook, stirring until well coated with oil. Add 1 1/3 cups of Champagne (I used Prosecco) stir and let the rice absorb it before you add ladleful of hot water. When this has been absorbed , add another ladleful, stirring continuously to prevent the risotto's sticking. Continue cooking the risotto in this way, making sure the water is absorbed before the next ladleful is added. After about 20 minutes you should of added about 4 cups of water. Add salt to taste.

When rice has absorbed all the water, add the remaining champagne. Stir well and then stir in the cheeses and butter. Taste for salt, serve with freshly ground pepper and extra grated Parmesan if needed.


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