shrimp risotto with peas

My life is crazy. Let me just put that out there. Since I finished medical school almost ten years ago, I have worked full time (and sometimes way more than full time). Almost 6-1/2 years ago, my daughter was born. And then three years after that, my son was born. And I still work full time, because I love what I do. My husband works a lot, too, because he loves what he does. My daughter is in kindergarten, and my son is in preschool. Both kids just started swim practice – this week, in fact – and that activity now takes up a good hour in the evening twice a week.


So, my point? It’s really hard to make time to cook. Really, really hard. I have found some tools that help me survive these crazy work weeks. One of them is my husband, who shares in all the household and parenting responsibilities equally — but you can’t have him. A couple of other tools that I rely on are my slow cooker – an ancient appliance that was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law and looks like it might be straight out of the 1960s – and my electric pressure cooker, a Cuisinart.

Earlier this week, during one of those usual crazy days, I decided to utilize my pressure cooker to make a risotto. It’s so simple and straightforward, and I can have a risotto prepped in no time. Thankfully, I like risotto. The pressure cooker is good for other things too, but the fact that I could make risotto in the pressure cooker was a bit of a surprise for me. Hence, this post.



As I mentioned in my last post, we have this great little fish market in my neighborhood. I stopped by on the way home from work and picked up some fresh St. Augustine shrimp. Everything else I had on hand. Turned out to be a perfect – and quick – weeknight meal, with plenty of leftovers for the next night.


For the wine for this meal (both for cooking and for drinking), I opened a 2005 Franciscan Chardonnay from Napa. This chardonnay is a lighter, crisper style than one might think of in a traditional chardonnay. It worked well with this dish, but I probably would have preferred a sauvignon blanc or a riesling given the hint of spiciness in the shrimp from the crushed red pepper.

franciscan chardonnay

Shrimp Risotto with Peas

These directions are for using an electric pressure cooker. You can always use your traditional risotto recipe if you don't have a pressure cooker.


Ingredients for Shrimp

2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3/4 pound shrimp
1/2 cup dry white wine

Ingredients for Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas


In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Add shrimp and saute for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp begin to turn pink. Add 1/2 cup white wine and simmer until shrimp are done, another 2-3 minutes. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon and set aside. Pour cooking liquid into bowl and reserve.

In the pressure cooker, place 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon butter and the chopped onion or shallot, and saute for 2 or 3 minutes until the onion/shallot is translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add in the arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is opaque (about 3-4 minutes). Add the wine and salt and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Add 4-1/2 cups chicken stock, stir, and set the pressure cooker to high pressure and cook for 6 minutes. When the 6 minutes is up, use the quick release to release the steam in the pressure cooker. Open the lid carefully.

To risotto, add in 1/4 cup of reserved shrimp cooking liquid and the last 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Stir until absorbed. Add in the shrimp and peas. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Bon Appetit


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8 Responses to “anatomy lessons, a sinkhole, and shrimp and sausage with creamy grits”

  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food — January 23, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    Your bowl of creamy grits looks so warm and comforting. Glad you’ve had some time for yourself.

  2. Paula- bell'alimento — January 23, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

    I love a good bowl of shrimp & grits…swoon…

  3. Living The Sweet Life — January 23, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    I’ve never had grits in my life 🙁 … your pictures alone are making it clear, that Im missing out big time!! This looks like comfort in a bowl, perfect for any cold night. I’ll have to make this as soon as possible 🙂

  4. Macaroni Mama — January 23, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    Very nice post. I would love a good bowl of shrimp and grits. . . plus, a good anatomy lesson.

  5. Paula — January 23, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

    Glad you had some great down time with the kids before your busy weeks kick in to high gear.

    I’ve never had grits. I don’t even think we can buy stone ground or any kind up here. My husband would love that shrimp!

  6. Anamaria Yeung — February 6, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    Wow MJ – I am blown away by your blog!! I made this shrimp and grits recipe last night for company – it was so delicious! I’m making your bollognaise sauce right now – it’s been on the stove for about 2 hours and is looking so yummy. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Did I mention that I’m blown away?!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

      Thanks, Anamaria. 🙂

  7. Chris — February 19, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

    I love your Florida posts, it reminds me of home.

    The shrimp and grits? Yum!

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