Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Scallops

Courtesy of Tyler Florence, this recipe makes a great risotto. Make sure your scallops are towel dry and seasoned with salt and pepper, as moisture will keep them from obtaining that nice browned top. Using shrimp, cooked at the end and placed atop the risotto would be fabulous as well. You can also choose to sear either bay or sea scallops in a separate pan at the end and place them on top of the finished risotto.

• Extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, crescent-shaped muscles removed and discarded
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 onion, minced
• 2 garlic cloves 1 pound crimini mushrooms, stemmed
• Leaves from handful fresh thyme sprigs
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 cups Arborio rice
• 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
• 8 cups canned chicken stock, heated
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• Fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with a 2-count of oil. When the oil is hot, sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper and brown well on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm while you make the risotto. (You can also do this step at the very end)
Reduce the heat to medium. Drizzle in another 2-count of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until soft. Toss in the mushrooms and herbs and cook until the mushrooms lose their liquid and are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir 2 minutes to coat with the oil; the grains will turn opaque. Season again. Stir in the wine and cook 1 minute to evaporate the alcohol.
Now pour in 1 cup of the warm stock and stir with a wooden spoon until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Add another cup of stock. Continue in this way, stirring constantly and adding the stock 1 cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. (You may not need all of the stock; the risotto is done when it is slightly firm but creamy.) When the risotto is cooked, fold in the butter and cheese, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Place seared scallops atop risotto. Serve hot. Garnish with parsley.
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