This Valentines’s you don’t need to get on a reality show and be verbally abused in order to learn how to make this very iconic dish from Hell’s Kitchen. Nor do you have to make the journey to Las Vegas to eat at Hell’s Kitchen in the Ceasar’s Palace. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can make this risotto in the comfort (and safety) of your own home with only your spouse to yell at you…if you’re into that kind of thing (no judgment). I got this copy cat recipe from Bake It With Love.
First, I think it would be obvious, but if your significant other has a shellfish allergy, and you don’t want to kill them, then it would be best to find something else to cook. Shellfish allergies can be extremely serious and you don’t want to spend your romantic evening in a hospital (or worse).
Secondly, for those of you wondering what it tastes like, I’ll do my best to describe. The wine that is used adds a subtle flavor and the alcohol is cooked off early on in the process (so it’s safe to feed kids). The addition to lemon and chive added at the end seems to enhance the flavor of the lobster meat, and the risotto has spent a lot of time cooking in the lobster stock juices which means not only is it tender, but really full of flavor. It was a serious win in my book and didn’t really take long to make once all the ingredients where assembled.
Thirdly, on that note, make sure to assemble your ingredients BEFOREHAND. You don’t want to be fumbling around trying to find measuring cups and praying that your risotto isn’t burning. I did mine in sections. So while my stock was simmering I was prepping the ingredients for the risotto.
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Okay, without further delay, here’s the recipe as well as some notes I made while cooking to make the process hopefully easier.
Serves 4: 425 calories per serving (but who’s counting it’s Valentines!)
- 4 cups water (or use 3 cups water/1 cup white wine): I actually used more than 4 cups. I made sure it was enough to fully immerse my lobster tails in, which was more like 6 cups with a cup of the white wine, but eyeball it and use the best judgment.
- 1 1/2 lbs (24 oz) lobster shells (we used 4, 8 oz lobster tails that had been flash-frozen and where sold in the seafood department of our store.)
- 1 medium onion (peeled and rough chopped)
- 1 carrot (sliced and don’t bother with skinning it.)
- 1 rib celery (sliced)
- 1 tomato (chopped, or use an 8 oz can be crushed or diced tomatoes): I used diced
- 1 bay leaf
- each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1 Tbsp shallots (or white onion – minced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup white wine (dry white wine – we used more, closer to 1/3 c)
- 3 cups lobster stock (quick lobster stock instructions are above, or visit our ‘How To Make Lobster Stock’ page – may use up to 4 cups)
- diced lobster meat (reserved from lobster stock)
- 2 Tbsp butter (more, as needed)
- 2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese (we used 4 Tbsp of cream cheese)
- zest of 1 whole lemon
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- 2 Tbsp chives (fresh, chopped), Green onions also work but are a little bigger.
- Parmigiano cheese (shaved)
Bring 4 cups (or more if needed to cover the lobster) of water to a boil, add lobster and continue to boil for 4 minutes. Remove the lobsters and plunge into ice water. Remove the lobster meat and dice for the risotto, then refrigerate. Return the shells to the boiling water.
If you don’t know how to remove the meat from a lobster tail please check out how HERE.
2. Add onion, carrot, celery, tomato, bay leaf then add salt & pepper to taste. Simmer the broth for 20 minutes then strain out the lobster shells, vegetables, and spices by pouring it into either a cheesecloth or a strainer. Reserve broth and keep on medium heat for use in the risotto.
Bring a large skillet or frying pan to medium heat, add olive oil, shallots, and garlic. Cook until softened (1-2 minutes). Add the Arborio rice, cook (stirring occasionally) for 1-2 minutes.
Add wine and cook for a minute, keeping the rice moving (stirring frequently). Add one-third to half of the lobster stock (I added two cups at first), cook (stirring occasionally) for 3-5 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Set timer for 20 minutes.
Add the other two cups of lobster stock one cup at a time, allowing the rice to slowly absorb the liquid in between additions until the Arborio rice becomes slightly translucent and is an al dente firmness and the core can still be seen in the center. This will take about 20 minutes to complete (which is why I had you set the timer). You may not use all of your stock. I started tasting the risotto after four cups of liquid had been added and continued to add more if I found the rice to still be crunchy.
Add the reserved diced lobster meat (leave a few pieces behind for garnish), butter, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest and salt & pepper (to taste). Stir vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and a thick, creamy risotto is achieved.
Correct the seasoning (if necessary), serve and garnish with Parmigiano and chives (if desired).
- Serve immediately and enjoy! I paired this with a glass of white wine.
AND!!!!! If you have some self-restraint and actually end up with leftovers, you’ll be pleased to know that these heat up very well the next day! Just microwave for two minutes. It’s not as creamy, but all the delicious flavors are still there! I wouldn’t trust anything with lobster in the fridge for longer than 24 hours though (but honestly who leaves Lobster just sitting around like that)?