Avocado season in California is pretty fantastic, avocados are so easy to come by. Of course, they’re great for you. Lots of minerals, antioxidants, healthy fat, but to be honest this is a food I’d eat even if it was bad for me. It’s flavor, texture and even gorgeous color has me hooked. It’s also my go-to when I want to add creaminess to a vegan meal.
I’ve told you before that Risotto is one of my favorite meals and adding one of my favorite members of the produce family just makes it better. Top it with some beer butter shrimp and you have yourself a dinnertime winner.
For this I used Allagash White, one of my staples of my beer cellar (I wish I had an actual beer cellar, until I figure out how to make that happen my beer selection takes up residence in the bottom shelf of my fridge). Allagash White is clean, bright, and has great spice and citrus flavor. It does not have the typical strong banana notes that most Witbiers have, which puts it over the top in my book, I hate bananas. It has an accessible complexity that makes it great beer to use when introducing people to craft beer. It’s a great example of the genera, and of craft beer in general.
Avocado Risotto with Beer Butter Shrimp
For The Risotto:
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tbs heavy cream
- 1 large avocado, chopped (skin and seed discarded)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbs chopped shallots
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup Wheat Beer, plus 2 tbs, divided
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbs chopped chives
For The Shrimp:
- 1 cup wheat beer
- 3 tbs butter
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Place the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a mild simmer, keeping to warm, but not boiling.
- In a food processor or blender add the cream, parmesan and avocado, process until smooth, set aside.
- In a separate pot, add the butter and allow to melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and oil, cook until transparent, but don’t allow to brown. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 20 seconds
- Stir in the rice, cooking until the rice is completely coated with butter and it smells slightly nutty, don’t allow to brown. About 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of the beer and cook until the pan begins to dry, stirring frequently. About 6 minutes.
- Add about ½ cup of broth into the rice. Stir frequently until the rice is almost dry, and then add another ½ cup and repeat. This process should take about 20 minutes. Don’t leave the risotto while it’s cooking, the rice on the bottom of the pan burns easily. (if you run out of broth, just use hot water the same way you would broth)
- Once your risotto is cooked through (taste it to verify that the rice is cooked and not crunchy), turn heat to low and add the avocado mixture, 2 tbs beer and salt and pepper to taste. Risotto should be soft and wet, not dry like typical rice. It should be firm enough to be served as a side on a plate, but soft enough to jiggle when the plate is shaken.
- To make the shrimp, add 1 cup beer to a sauce pan over medium high heat, reduce by about half, add the butter and stir until melted. Whisk in the chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp have turned opaque in the center, about 3 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove shrimp from the cooking liquid.
- Plate risotto, top with shrimp and sprinkle with chopped chives.
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