Crab and Chili Risotto

Fresh crab makes a delicious risotto, especially when speckled with fresh red chili. This recipe hails from the Gomez family, long-time friends who moved to California from Columbia. Living in California allows them to use Dungeness crab almost exclusively as it has different seasons in California, Oregon and Washington.



  1. Put the broth in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer. Melt half the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and add the shallots and celery. Cook gently for 5-7 minutes until soft, golden, translucent but not browned. Add the rice, chopped chili, and bay leaf, stir until well coated with the butter, translucent, and heated through. Pour in the wine and boil hard until it has reduced and almost disappeared. This will remove the taste of the alcohol.
  2. Begin adding the broth, al large ladle at a time, stirring gently until each ladle has almost been absorbed by the rice. The risotto should be kept at a bare simmer throughout the cooking, so don't let it dry out or stick to the bottom of the pan. Add more broth as necessary. Continue until the rice is tender and creamy, but the grain still firm. This should take 15-20 minutes, check the instructions on the package.
  3. Five minutes before the rice is ready, stir in half the crabmeat. When the rice is cooked, taste and season well with salt and pepper, then stir in the remaining butter. Remove the bay leaf. Fold in the remaining crab meat, being careful not to break up any lumps. Remove from stove, cover and let rest for a couple of minutes so the risotto can relax, then serve immediately.
  4. Serve topped with the crab claws and lots of chopped fresh parsley.

Serves: 4

Wine Pairing

Esser® Vineyards  Chardonnay

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