easy baked risotto with shrimp and sugar snap peas

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Ina Garten’s risotto recipe gave me the idea to bake this risotto instead of standing at the stove and slowly stirring the rice after each addition of stock. It cooked up so quickly in the oven, in 30 minutes, so I quickly took it out and added the shrimp and other ingredients, including a handful of minced Chinese celery (คุณไชย). I forgot the wine but this risotto really didn’t miss it. It turned out buttery, with the crunch of the peas, the mild zing of the celery, and the fresh taste of just cooked shrimp. It’s Italian with a Chinese accent!

Easy Baked Risotto with Shrimp, Ham, and Sugar Snap Peas
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 37 minutes

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock, preferably home made (I used 2 1/2 chicken bouillon cubes to 5 cups water)
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed, blanched 30 seconds and dunked in cold water to set the color
1 cup cooked ham, chopped into strips (optional)
1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons Chinese celery, stems only, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven that is heat-proof. Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.

Remove pot from the oven, and put on stove top on medium high heat. Then add the remaining cup of chicken stock, shrimp, bell pepper, wine (if using), butter, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy and the shrimp just turns pink. Don’t overcook the shrimp!

Add the ham (if using), Chinese celery, and sugar snap peas, then stir until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

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