Living above a bakery, smelling French baked heaven every morning–that is my sad reality. Sad because I have an intense gluten-allergy. Just one bite of doughy goodness and my skin breaks out into a painful and rather monstrous looking rash. Some mornings it feels like a toss up. Would you trade your vanity for a pastry? A bagel for a break out? Every waft taunts my immune system.
I can’t bring myself to do it (though, it has been known to happen). Most of the time gluten-free eating isn’t so bad. It keeps me from eating bowls of pasta at Italian restaurants, which is a good thing considering I’m also diabetic (how did I get to be so lucky you’re wondering, no clue). And eating at home is a cinch.
A hankering for seared scallops the other night led to a favorite: risotto. Traditional risotto (made with Arborio Rice) is gluten-free. Oh happy eating.
1 cup Arborio rice
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup white wine (Chardonnay works well)
1/2 pound fresh scallops (about 12 medium, remember they shrink as they cook)
1/2 freshly grated Parmesan
Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 stick of butter
2 tbsp Olive Oil
4 cups fresh hot water or light stock
1. Thoroughly dry your scallops. Season with Old Bay. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the uncooked Arborio rice and stir well, until the rice is coated. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
3. Pour in 1 cup of the hot water (or stock) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently for 7-8 minutes.
4. When most of the liquid is absorbed, add the remaining cups of hot water or broth 1 cup at a time, stirring and simmering until each cup of liquid is absorbed before adding the next one. This keeps the risotto fluffy and light.
5. When the final cup of liquid is absorbed, cover and set aside.
6. In a separate medium sauce pan, over low heat, melt your butter. Add (pre-diced) shallots and garlic, and sauté with a wooden spoon until translucent.
7. Add rice and white wine. Sauté until wine evaporates. This should take about 2 minutes.
8. In another large sauce pan over high heat, sear scallops. Each side should take about 2 minutes. They should turn a milky white, and be slightly bronzed on their ends.
6. Add scallops to rice mixture. Add a bit more wine if the rice seems dry.
7. Stir in Parmesan.
8. Season with salt and pepper.
Enjoy your gluten-free deliciousness. –Arianna Schioldager