A tasty risotto dish that’s full of mushroom flavor and topped with garlicky shrimp. This risotto makes a perfect romantic dinner for two!
I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give. – Julia Child.
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Cooking is an expression of love and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to share that love and to show off your skills. What’s more romantic than whipping up a tasty dish and sharing it with your loved one over a couple glasses of wine? You can keep the flowers and the candy – I’ll take a good meal any day. This Garlicky Mushroom and Shrimp Risotto is just that. A good meal you can prepare at home that utilizes a few different cooking techniques and is packed full of flavor. Your spouse will love it and love that you took the time to stretch your culinary skills.
Risotto is an Italian dish made with Arborio rice that’s cooked in broth. The rice is fairly starchy and the broth draws that starch out as it cooks resulting in its characteristic creamy texture. It has a reputation of being one of those things you only find at a fancy restaurant but it’s absolutely something you can make at home and is a pretty fun dish to make. There are a few steps to nail down when making risotto and once you master them – you’re set. This recipe uses mushrooms and is topped with shrimp but there are so many variations out there. And I assure you they’re all delicious.
The first step requires some chopping. Mince 8 cloves of garlic, 1 small white onion, and 2 8 oz. packages of mushrooms. You can use any type of mushroom you like – I went for plain old button mushrooms but feel free to mix it up. It is Valentine’s Day after all. Once the chopping is complete, heat a saute pan to medium and add 1 Tbsp. of oil. Once the oil is heated, add all of the mushrooms along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. The salt will draw the liquid out of the mushrooms and create a little bit of broth as it cooks. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently and then remove them from the pan. Set the mushrooms aside for now.
Return the pan to the stove top and add 1 Tbsp. of butter to it. Add half of the minced garlic and the entire chopped onion to the pan. Saute the garlic and onions for 4-5 minutes or until the onions have softened slightly. Now add 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice to the garlic and onions. Saute the rice for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauteing the rice like this toasts it a little bit. The rice will brown slightly as it toasts. Now add 2/3 cup of white wine to the rice and saute for another 3-4 minutes. The wine will reduce as it cooks and the alcohol will dissipate leaving you with a pan of very fragrant rice.
Now the risotto starts to turn into risotto. The trick is to add warm broth to the pan a little at a time until the rice is fully cooked. This whole process only takes about 16-20 minutes (depending on how firm you like the rice). First, heat 6 cups of chicken broth in a separate sauce pan on the stove top. You only need to heat the broth through – it should not come to a boil. Once the broth has heated, add a cup of it to the rice. Stir the rice and broth together. The rice will absorb the broth after a minute or two. Add another cup of broth at this point. Stir again and wait for the rice to absorb the broth. Repeat this process for 16-20 minutes using the rest of the broth. Eventually, the rice will be plump and won’t absorb any more liquid. It is important to stir the rice frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
Feel free to taste the rice as it cooks. Traditionally it is served ‘al dente’. This means that there is still a bit of bite to the rice. It should not be crunchy but not completely soft and tender. I say eat it how you like – go completely al dente or leave it on the heat longer if you want a softer rice. We’ll add a few more ingredients at this point just to make it extra special. Add another Tbsp. of butter, 1/2 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Stir together and fold in the mushrooms we cooked earlier.
Let’s not forget about the shrimp! In a separate pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of oil. Once heated, add the remaining half of minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 lb. of peeled shrimp to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the shrimp for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
It’s time to assemble. Scoop a good potion of the risotto into individual serving bowls and arrange 4-5 shrimp on top (make sure you add all that garlicky cooking oil). Mince 1/2 cup or so of your favorite herb and sprinkle a handful of it on the risotto. You can use basil, parsley, chives – anything you like. Now garnish the dish with more grated Parmesan cheese and dust the whole thing with a bit of paprika. You can add more salt and pepper if you like. You now have a restaurant quality dish to show off – I mean share with your loved one. It will look like you slaved for hours but really it will only have taken about 30 minutes. I’m telling you – nothing says love like a big bowl of garlicky risotto.
A tasty risotto dish that's full of mushroom flavor and topped with garlicky shrimp. This risotto makes a perfect romantic dinner for two!
Mince garlic and onion and chop 2 packages of mushrooms into small pieces.
Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in pan. Add mushrooms and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp. of butter in pan. Add half the minced garlic and entire onion to pan. Saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice to garlic and onions. Saute rice for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Rice will brown a bit as it cooks.
Add 2/3 cups white wine to the rice. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
Heat 6 cups of chicken broth in a separate pan on stove top. Broth should be heated through but not boiled.
Add the warmed broth to the rice one cup at a time. Add a cup and cook for a minute or so, stirring often. Add another cup and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Repeat this process with the remaining broth over the course of 16-20 minutes.
Once the rice has reached desired consistency, add 1 Tbsp. of butter, 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir together. Fold in the sauteed mushrooms.
In a separate pan, heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Add the remaining garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 lb. peeled shrimp along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mince 1/2 cup or so of chopped herb of choice.
Place the risotto in serving bowls and top with garlicky shrimp. Add a handful of chopped herbs, a generous amount of shaved Parmesan, and a dusting of paprika on top of the risotto.
Top the risotto with herb of choice.
Adjust salt and pepper levels to taste.