I love to make risotto- it's an easy, hearty dish that fills your belly and feeds your soul. Plus- risottos are deceptively simple and a breeze to throw together - they just require some stirring- which makes them ideal for a dinner party or a date, where you can stand over the stove and stir, but you don't have to go through any complicated steps or worry about messing things up. Adding Crabmeat to this simple and rustic dish elevates it to a party-perfect showstopper in no time! This Mushroom Crab Risotto is one of our family's favorite new dishes, and it will be one of yours, too!
Many people think that risotto is a hard dish to prepare- but it's actually super easy. The one thing you really need to do though is stir it. Stir, stir, stir- the thick consistency comes from the starch of the rice, which is released by frequent stirring. If you've ever made rice pilaf and stirred it a bit too much and it got gummy, it is the exact same process- except in this case we're trying to get that thick, sticky, gummy texture.
To speed up your risotto, keep the stock you'll be adding to the mixture in another pan on the stove, just under boiling. Adding cold stock to each addition slows cooking time down a bit- so keeping some warmed on the stove will shave 10 minutes or so off your cooking time- and it's not much more of a mess. If you set the stock out on a warm countertop though (or your kitchen is warm) you can easily make this into a one-pot meal by not heating your stock. Just don't add COLD stock, whatever you do! It will make this recipe take forever!
If your rice doesn't thicken- just get to stirring!!
Lastly, for the crabmeat- here in Colorado the only "fresh" (non-canned) crabmeat I can get is found in my grocer's seafood case- it typically comes in a plastic tub. This is either cooked or not- but crabmeat takes such a short time to cook when packaged like this, you really just want to add it at the end of the cooking process. Adding it too early will make your risotto overly fishy and make the crabmeat gummy. Add it just at the end!
I haven't used canned crabmeat because I'm not a huge fan of it, but if you like it, go for it! You can also use this method with a pound of shrimp- or check out one of my other risotto recipes!
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 8 oz crimini mushrooms, cleaned and diced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 1/2 cups arborrio rice
- 2 chicken stock, or packages vegetable, lower sodium is best (2x 14 oz box- you may use less or have to add additional broth or water to cook to your preferred rice texture.
- 3 tbsp butter
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup green onions , diced
- dry vermouth, optional- 1/2 cup
- 1 cup water
- Parmesan Cheese, optional
- 1 9 oz container fresh lump crabmeat, from your seafood dept- NOT canned
- Heat a large pan or ceramic dutch oven over high heat.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil.
- When oil is shimmery, add diced onions and shallots.
- When onions are slightly browned, add butter and stir.
- Lower heat to medium-low, add rice, stir well.
- Let rice brown just slightly (think "toasted" for a little flavor)
- Add a little bit of stock and vermouth (optional!!)- just enough to keep the consistency liquid.
- Stir frequently until rice thickens.
- Add a little more stock until it is just barely liquid. Repeat stirring frequently until thickened and adding just enough stock to keep it from burning or becoming too thick.
- Realistically, using a regular sized container of stock, you'll use it in about 6ths or 8ths.
- When your stock is gone, and the risotto has become thicker, taste a bit of it.
- If the rice is too crunchy for your taste, add a little water and proceed with the steps above. Risotto should be slightly al dente- just a slight, teeny crunch when bit. If you over cook the rice, it will become a bit gummy- but its all individual tastes.
- Add crabmeat- if cooked, add just at the end to warm it up- if uncooked- give it about 5 minutes to cook thoroughly. You don't want it overcooked or it will be gummy and fishy.
- Add diced green onions just before your risotto is done cooking- you won't want them to overcook.
- When risotto is thick enough to not spread all over a plate, but not so thick you can shape it like mashed potatoes, it is ready.
- Serve when warm.
- Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the top and enjoy!