Thai Spice Infused Risotto with Sauteed Scallops and Shrimp

An Asian twist on the classic risotto recipe. Coconut milk, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves infuse the broth and a touch of heat is is provided by Thai red curry paste. Choose a wine that is able to stand up to all these flavours. A perfect match would be Tilia Torrontes 2010, an aromatic, dry white from Argentina.

Serves 4

1 400ml can coconut milk (not coconut cream)
4 cups chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves (1 tsp lime zest can be substituted)
1 stalk lemon grass roughly chopped
2 ¼ tsp Thai red curry paste
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (caps only)
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ cup Arborio rice
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2/3  cups loosely packed fresh grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
12 large sea scallops
12 large uncooked shrimp, peeled, tail on
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges and cilantro leaves for garnish

In a medium pot combine the coconut milk, chicken stock, kaffir lime leaves (or lime zest), lemon grass and 2 tsp Thai red curry paste. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let the flavours infuse for about 15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove the solids. Return the broth mixture to the pot and bring back to a simmer.

In a large heavy pot over medium high heat, melt 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

Add the onion and saute 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, cook another minute.

Add the rice and stir to coat. Add 1 cup of the hot coconut broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy.

Finish the risotto by adding the lime juice, Parmesan cheese and cilantro. Add the last ¼ tsp Thai red curry paste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter in a skillet over high heat. When the butter is hot, arrange the scallops in the pan and brown on each side, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Add the shrimp to the pan and saute until they turn pink and are cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Divide the risotto between 4 bowls and top each with 3 scallops and 3 shrimp.

Drizzle any pan drippings over each serving. Garnish with a wedge of lime and few cilantro leaves.

 Recipe created by: Christie Pollard for the Trialto Wine Group