Writing out a meal plan for the week is great and all, but there are times, like last night, when I just don’t feel like cooking the dinner I had planned. Thankfully, I’ve stocked up the kitchen with plenty of options for spur-of-the-moment meals, and once again I turned to some sweet little Maine shrimp for a quick weeknight dinner. I put a half pound of the little beauties in a water bath to thaw while I built a risotto: a mix of butter and olive oil, carnaroli rice, plenty of chopped shallot, a dab of double-concentrated tomato paste for color and tang, and the last dregs of a bottle of fizzy that had been lingering in the fridge.
I usually save my shrimp shells and cook them down to make a tasty stock, but since I didn’t have any prepared I used plain water for the additional liquid the risotto needed. (It was fine, though I will say I prefer the richer flavor the shrimp stock adds. Next time.) The peeled shrimp went in right at the end since they cook so quickly, and I finished the risotto with a knob of butter, a glug of heavy cream, and a bit of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. And dinner was served.