Risotto aux Fruits de Mer de Christian Constant

(Christian Constant's Seafood Risotto)

Christian Constant, chef at Les Ambassadeurs hotel in Paris offers this advice: 'Just remember, to keep stirring and add the broth to the rice only when the broth is very hot, otherwise it will lower the temperature of the risotto and diminish its texture.'

1 1-1/2-pound lobster

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 cups fresh chicken broth, or good quality canned

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup Arborio rice (an imported Italian rice available in specialty shops)

4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup fresh lump crabmeat, picked over

Pour water to a depth of 1 inch in the bottom of a steamer pan with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil. Place the live lobster in the steamer insert and cover the steamer. Close any vent holes on the lid. Cook over medium heat until the lobster turns bright red, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove lobster from the pot. When it is cool enough to handle, carefully cut with scissors through the length of the bottom of the tail and remove the meat in one piece. Separate the claws and legs.

In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the shelled lobster tail, the claws, and the legs. Season with salt and pepper and cook the tail until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and slice the tail in half lengthwise. Crack the shell of the claws and remove the meat whole. Keep the halves, the claws, and the legs covered and warm.

In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce it to a simmer and keep simmering while the rice is cooked.

In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat and add the onions and remaining olive oil. Cook, stirring, until just wilted. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains are well coated.

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and simmer, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the rice, stirring occasionally. When all the liquid has been absorbed, add another 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cook, stirring, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cook, stirring, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Do not overcook. The rice should be firm or al dente. If the rice is still not sufficiently cooked, add remaining chicken broth.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons butter and blend well. Add the cream and the crabmeat and blend well. Simmer, but do not return to a boil once the cream has been added. Check for seasoning. x

Divide the risotto evenly onto 2 warmed plates. Decorate the risotto with the lobster legs and place a half tail along with 1 claw over each serving. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese on the side, if desired.

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