Lobster, Fennel, and Saffron Risotto
8 cups lobster, fennel, and saffron broth (see recipe)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped
2 ½ cups arborio, carnaroli, or other short-grain white rice
½ cup dry white wine
Meat from 3 cooked lobsters
1 cup fresh green peas
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper
In a medium pot, heat the broth and keep warm.
In a large, wide saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and fennel and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and simmer, stirring until the broth is almost absorbed. Add more broth, a cup at a time, allowing each addition to be almost absorbed before adding the next. Stir often. Cook until the rice is tender (but not mushy) and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes after adding the first cup of broth.
Stir in the lobster meat and peas until heated through, then stir in ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with the remaining Parmesan. Reserve excess risotto for arancini.
Lobster Saffron Arancini
Arancini is an Italian snack made from leftover risotto. The recipe is a simple one. Take 2 tablespoons of cold risotto in the palm of your hand. Place a small piece of mozzarella cheese in the middle of the risotto and fashion the risotto into a ball around it. Roll the ball first in a beaten egg and then in dried breadcrumbs. Repeat this process until you’ve used up the risotto. Let the arancini sit in the refrigerator while you heat a pot of vegetable oil to 375°F. Fry the arancini until they are golden brown and serve immediately. Serve alone or with a quick saffron aioli, which involves stirring ½ cup of mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, and a pinch of saffron.