I typically don’t mind having leftovers. I know some people are anti-leftovers but since I eat most meals at home, including lunch, leftovers sometimes come to our rescue for our middle-of-the-day meal. This past weekend though, knowing we had a busy Saturday and we already had plans for dinner on Sunday, I was hesitant to have lots of leftovers. This warm and hearty dinner is the perfect dinner-for-two.
I adore risotto. It’s creamy and rich and the perfect end to a busy week. I find the continuous stirring to be quite therapeutic and I don’t mind standing over the stovetop – especially with a glass of wine in hand.
The risotto starts by sautéing fennel (a very underused vegetable), onion, thyme and garlic in a little olive oil. Once tender and fragrant, add in the rice and toast, stirring constantly, for a minute. Wine is added in and cooked until evaporated and then you begin to add the stock in, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until absorbed before you add in more stock. For the last 1/2 cup of stock, add in 1/4 cup along with the green beans and salt and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the shrimp and cook until pink. Finally, add in the last 1/4 cup stock, the lemon zest, cream cheese, fennel fronds and pepper.
You will not believe that there is only one tablespoon of cream cheese in this dish. It’s insanely creamy and that’s all because of the constant stirring. The pops of beans added texture and I loved the addition of lemon zest and fennel fronds.
(p.s. aren’t you impressed? so much food to share this week!)