Wild Mushroom Risotto with Pesto Scallops

I said I was going to post it and true to my word, I finally got around to it.   This one goes great with the “Springer Salmon Cedar Plank” recipe.  I decided for the blog that I would do it as a main course.  So I added “Pesto Scallops” to the dish, and it truly came out excellent.  The first thing I am going to tell you about this dish is that it is not difficult, but Risotto takes a lot of patience and time.  If this is your first time, try it as a main dish.  That way your are not trying to time it with three other things that you are going to plate.  If you cook risotto too long it gets mushy, too short it is too crunchy. 

Serves 4

  • 6 cups of Chicken broth (I use homemade, but the better quality of broth the better it will be).
  • 4 oz of dried morels (you can use porcini if you like). soaked 30 minutes in 1 cup of water. Chop the mushrooms and strain and reserve liquid for later use.
  • 8 tbs. of butter
  • 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cups of assorted fresh mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and chopped.
  • 1 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup of Parmigano-Reggiano cheese
  • 16 Scallops

Heat the chicken broth along with the reserved strained morels liquid, lower to heat to a simmer.  In a cooking pot ( I use a Le Cruset oven pot) melt 4 tablespoons of butter and stir in the rice, toasting just until it starts to sizzle and pop, sometimes about 2-3 minutes.  Do not let it color!  Stir in the morels and the fresh mushrooms and the wine.

Add our rice butter, mushrooms and the wine.

Keep stirring the risotto and wine, when all the liquid of the wine disappears, after about 4  minutes, add enough of the broth from the other pan to cover your rice.  This should be on a simmer all the way thru this long process.  Hope your arm is in shape, because you need to constantly stir to keep from sticking.  When the broth is almost gone, add more broth to cover the rice again.  Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. When the liquid evaporates, add more broth to cover for the third time.

Take out the scallops and dry with paper towel while the rice is cooking down on the third time.  Salt and pepper the scallops and get your skillet hot.

Dry scallops and then salt and pepper them.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place your scallops on high heat cooking them for about four minutes on each side.

Brown the scallops on high heat.

After the broth evaporates from the thirds time the rice should be al dente, about 25 minutes of cooking time.  Bite into the grain of the rice, you should see a white pin dot in the center.  Take the risotto off the heat.  Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and stir in for a few seconds.  Add the parsley and the grated parmigiano and salt to taste.  Cover pot. 

The risotto is still burning off the liquid

Finish the scallops on both sides.

Scallops should not be black, but brown.

Plate the risotto (it should not be runny at all).  Add the scallops to the top.  I put a little dollop of homemade pesto on the top of the scallops.  The scallops should not be over cooked but a slight pink.

I put a little dollop of pesto and a pinch of grated Parmigiano on top of each scallop.

I prefer to make the pesto myself, I just happened to have some in the fridge.  However, it is not necessary.  This is a great side dish, and also an awesome main course.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

The Hunting Chef 

The perfect bite!

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