Integrale Rice Risotto Challenge – Savory Lobster Risotto

VOTE HERE for my Sauvignon Blanc and Lobster Risotto

Last month I saw a post on twitter from MarxFoods.com regarding the Interale Rice Risotto Challenge and immediately I went to their site and entered to be part of this great event.  I did this for a few reasons, first school was coming to a close and I thought it would be fun to participate in an online food competition and second, I LOVE risotto. That may be because I’m Italian or that it is gluten-free, or that I just love risotto for all its creamy goodness. Risotto to me is a blank canvas, you can do so much to it and be as creative as you wish.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy risotto is the recipe below, it is simple yet decadent and perfect on a warm summer day served with a simple salad of mixed greens and a light vinaigrette and a chilled glass of Bogle Sauvignon Blanc (which is used to make the risotto!). The Bogle Sauvignon Blanc is absolutely perfect in this risotto – it adds just the right flavor to this dish.

I’ve made risotto countless times and with several different brands of rice, and I’ll be honest, I have my favorites. Although I think it is the method more than the rice however, the Integrale rice is fantastic. I loved the texture you get with this rice. I always love finding new products to try, I am very thankful to both Integrale and MarxFoods for this opportunity to try this rice and be part of this event.

I had read on another blog that Integrale Rice was “whole wheat” and at first I had a bit of a challenge trying to figure out if that was true or not seeing as the entire package is in Italian. Thankfully there is google translate🙂 This is rice, not made from whole wheat grains, and the package states: ” Il Riso Non Ha Glutine Ed E Quindi L’Alimento Ideale Per I Celiaci” which translates to: “Rice has no gluten and is therefore the ideal food for Celiacs” I love when companies put gluten-free statements on their products.

Here is a little bit about Integrale Rice from the MarxFoods website:

Integrale rice is an Italian brown risotto rice. Like all risotto rice varieties, slow cooking Integrale Rice on the stove top with multiple infusions of stock causes it to absorb the stock’s flavor and release starch into the pan, thickening the remaining stock into an incredibly delicious sauce.

However, because the outer bran is left on, the finished risotto has a nuttier brown rice flavor, distinct grains, and a little more chew to its finished texture. The bran also includes additional nutrients not found in white risotto rice.

Sauvignon Blanc and Lobster Risotto

2 oz butter – unsalted

2 oz shallots – minced

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 1/2 cups Integrale Rice

3 cups white chicken stock or lobster stock

1 cup Bogle Sauvignon Blanc

2 oz Parmesan cheese – grated

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 – 1-1 1/4 pound lobsters

Salt and Pepper – to taste

Method of Preparation

Steam two lobsters until meat is cooked – about 7-8 minutes. Cool, remove meat from tail and claws, chop and set aside. Save the shells to make additional stock.

Heat stock over medium heat and keep warm.

In a large straight sided skillet add butter and melt over medium heat.

Add in shallots and garlic, saute until translucent.

Add Rice and stir until well coated and are toasted slightly  – you will smell a light nutty aroma.

Add the Bogle Sauvignon Blanc and stir until almost absorbed.

Slowly add the warm stock one ladle at a time and stir until almost absorbed.

Continue this process of adding stock in small quantities and stirring continuously until the liquid is absorbed, until the desired texture is achieved (rice should retain a touch of firmness and there should be a creamy, but not mushy consistency). You may not use all of the stock!

Add the pieces of lobster and stir to incorporate.

Add the grated cheese.

Add heavy cream, stir and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately.

You should give this rice a try!

Please take a second and vote for me (http://marxfood.com/favorite-risotto-recipe-integrale-gauntlet/)!!Voting starts on 5/30 and ends on 6/1

I hope you give this recipe a try and come back and share your thoughts.

(I was provided a box of Integral Rice free of charge from MarxFoods.com to try and review)

Lobster and Risotto

We both love lobster but never really eat it because let’s be honest, it can be rather expensive.  We are two college students and just can’t afford that kind of stuff on a regular basis.  Since moving here almost a year ago now we’ve had lobster once and that is because my dad bought it for us when we went to visit him one weekend.  We always say “if it goes on sale for a good price we’ll pick one or two up”.  The only problem with that idea is we NEVER remember to actually do it.  So when I got this weeks grocery ad’s in the mail I noticed that Shaw’s had the chicken lobsters (up to 1.5 lbs) on sale for $5.99 a pound.  We decided to break down and get two of them.

Lobster is one of those food items that can be enjoyed in many different ways: steamed or boiled then served with butter, baked, grilled, mac-n-cheese, lobster ravioli’s etc.  I tend to be a purist when it comes to lobster – I like mine steamed and served with a little butter on the side (usually garlic butter).  I prefer the steaming method for two reasons, one it’s a little harder to over cook them that way and two because it leaves more of their natural ocean fresh taste. Today however, I broke from away from that purist side of me and steamed my lobsters then removed all the meat, cut it in to large chunks, sautéed quickly with olive oil, butter and a clove of minced fresh garlic then served it atop a nice plate of Parmesan Risotto=delicousness.

In my post “Light and Delicious” I posted a quick recipe costing breakdown at the end showing how inexpensive meals made at home can be.  The recipe was for Pesto Pasta with Zucchini and Shrimp – the recipe yield was for two portions.  The total recipe cost was $5.34 (yes including the shrimp and store-bought pesto!) which made each serving just $2.67.  A good number of my recipes on here are for two portions because, we are just two people.  However, if you look at my soup recipes that is for a larger quantity because we love soup leftovers. I also posted a survey yesterday asking my you, the lovely readers of my blog if this kind of information is useful to you because I received a few comments and e-mails asking for more of this.  With all the positive responses to the survey, the e-mails and comments I decided to keep doing this…so below the recipe you will see the recipe cost breakdown with a little explanation.

Please note that I am a HUGE sales/coupon person.  I really don’t like to pay full price for just about anything so I only buy certain items such as shrimp and lobster when there is a good sale going on.  If you’ve noticed this is the first lobster recipe I’ve posted on here.

Lobster and Risotto

2 Chicken Lobsters (about 1-1.5 pounds each)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove – Minced

2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (I used Pacific Natural Food’s)

2 Tablespoons of Butter

3/4 Cup of Arborio Rice

1/4 Cup Dry White Wine (I used Gewurztraminer because it is what we had)

1/4 Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For the Lobsters – start these first so they have time to cool down

In a large stock pot place either a steaming basket or upside down colendar at the bottom and fill with water until it just barely comes over the top of the basket or colendar.  Bring to a boil and add lobsters.  Make sure your pan has a very tight-fitting lid to keep the steam inside.  Lobsters that are about 1.5 pounds should be steamed between 7-8 minutes (do not over cook!).  You will know they are done when they turn a very vibrant red color.

Remove from the pan and cool by placing them under cold running water.  You just want to cool them enough to be able to get the meat out.  Remove meat, cut into chunks and set aside.

When the risotto is almost finished heat medium/large sautée pan over medium heat and add olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of butter and garlic.  Cook for 1 minute, add lobster and toss until lobster is coated and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until lobster is heated throughout, again be careful to over cook.

For the Risotto

In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer.  Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.  Add the rice and stir to coat, add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 ladle (or 1/2 cup) of the simmering broth and stir until completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.  Continue cooking the rice, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time.  Stir constantly and allow each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next.  Continue this until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and mixture is creamy, about 10-15 minutes total.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

To plate the dish spoon half of the risotto on each plate, top with sautéed lobster, serve with a lemon slice/wedge and chives as a garnish. Enjoy with a glass of Gewurztraminer.

Below is the costing breakdown including all of the ingredients used (remember that the prices might be different depending on where you shop, your local specials etc.).  For each of us to have risotto and a chicken lobster for $10.87 I would say that isn’t too shabby of a price, especially since you would probably pay between $19.00-$24.00 and not have the same amount of lobster if you were to order this at a restaurant.  Cooking delicious (and gluten-free) meals at home isn’t just a way to control what you are eating but choosing the ingredients yourself it is also a great way to save money.  Many of the ingredients of these recipes you already have in your pantry so it is just buying a few of the key ingredients.  For example, the only ingredient we had to buy today was the lobsters themselves.