Restaurants almost never know how to make risotto either. More often than not, you just get a plate of rise smothered in cheese. Even expensive, famous restaurants frequently mess it up. There was an absolutely perfect mushroom risotto that was served at a restaurant on McGill College in Montreal. Sadly, that restaurant has closed. Even at The Modern restaurant in New York the risotto was the weakest dish of all.
The good news is that with every risotto I make, I get a little better. This seafood risotto I made today looks great and doesn't stick to the plate at all. This particular version of risotto contains clams, scallops, shrimp and oysters. Even if the risotto itself were bad, the beautiful seafood would go a long way to redeeming it.
P.S. By huge popular demand of one reader, here is the recipe:
1. Pour some olive oil into a pan. Add some crushed garlic and fry it for not more than a couple of minutes. Add 1 cup of arborio rice. Make sure that every grain of rice is covered in olive oil.
2. When the rice starts acquiring a slightly golden hue, slowly add one glass of dry white wine to the pan. (Feel free to skip the wine and add fish stock instead.) Keep mixing the rice the entire time. It should be prevented from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. When the wine reduces, add some fish stock. Keep adding the stock in little portions as it keeps reducing. Remember that you will need to stop adding liquids when the rice is al dente. Nothing is worse than a risotto whose cook didn't stop on time.
4. In the meanwhile, peel and devein shrimp. Place clams in a pan of boiling water. In a bout two minutes, the clams will open. When that happens, take them out of the pan. If there are clams that failed to open, throw them out.
5. When the rice is about 5 minutes away from being al dente, add the shrimp, the oysters, and the scallops to the pan. (This seafood can be substituted with any other kind.) Add some grated Parmesan. I also add cilantro because I love it and add it to everything.
6. When the risotto is about two minutes away from getting done, place the clams strategically all over the surface of the risotto. Make sure you serve it while it's hot. Leftovers are not bad either but nothing beats freshly made risotto.