Shrimp and Scallop Cauli-Rice Risotto

A creamy risotto is almost always the most decadent thing to order when you’re out to dinner. The warm, savory goodness is delicious and so filling (unless everyone else at the table makes you give them a bite!)   

Not only do I highly recommend making this at home, but I REALLY highly recommend subbing out the traditional risotto for riced cauliflower. The dish becomes slightly lighter but still plenty satisfying for a family dinner or a fancy dinner party because kids and adults alike are going to love this. (My fiancé said this is the best thing I’ve ever made and Adam Carolla and Bryan Bishop have moved it into their Top 5 Gina Meals on the show sooooo I’m PRETTY excited about it!)

Shrimp and Scallop Cauli-Rice Risotto

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 32 oz riced cauliflower (pre-riced, frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10-12 sea scallops, thawed
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb shrimp, de-veined (pre-cooked is fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon umami seasoning for shrimp (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (1/2 for veggies, half for shrimp)
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced (plus the rind for lemon zest)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 shredded parmesan
  • 2 oz (4 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs Italian seasoning
  • 6 slices of pancetta, torn (optional)
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped, (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Microwave bags of riced cauliflower until completely cooked. (If the “rice” has a lot of water in the bag, rinse with cool water and wring out with cheesecloth. Set aside to add later. *See how best to wring cauliflower in the “Notes” section below).
  2. While the cauli is in the microwave, cook the s/p-seasoned scallops in oiled pan on high heat, 2-3 minutes a side. I followed this Cafe Delites recipe  and they turned out perfectly! Set the scallops aside and deglaze the pan by combining butter, white wine and broth.
  3. Add the shrimp to this liquid and cook through. Set shrimp aside with the scallops and save liquid in separate bowl.
  4. Sauté diced onion until soft and slightly golden (about 10 minutes), add minced garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms in with the onions and continue to sauté until soft.
  6. Add in spinach, a third at a time, stirring and wilting as you go.
  7. Gently stir in cauliflower, all seasonings, mozzarella / parmesan cheese, shrimp, and heavy cream if you’re using it. (Drizzle in the saved liquid as needed.)
  8. At this point, everything should be fragrant and taking on ooey-gooey perfection.
  9. Spoon onto plate and add the scallops back on top.
  10. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

-There are many options when it comes to ricing your cauliflower. You can rice it yourself, buy pre-riced and boil it, or get steam-in-a-bag riced cauliflower. There are enough moving parts in this recipe that I like to nuke the cauliflower so I can focus on other elements.

-How to best wring out cauliflower: Spoon about 3 heaping tablespoons of cooled down cauliflower rice into a folded over cheesecloth (cut the amount you need and leave the rest on the spool.) Gather each corner of the cloth and wring it with some pressure over the sink, taking care not to tear the cloth. (If you’re still getting used wringing out cauliflower you may want to put a plate or cutting board in the sink so if your cloth breaks you can scoop up the cauliflower and wring out again.) Repeat the process for all the cauliflower. Once it’s wrung, each bundle should lose a considerable amount of size and be pretty mushed together. Don’t worry about that! It’ll break apart nicely once mixed into the other veggies.)

– Stir the cauliflower carefully so it doesn’t turn into mush!

-Some people like more of a kick than I do. If that’s you, Add more red pepper flakes. If that’s NOT you, get rid of them all together!

If you’re weary of cooking shrimp properly, here’s a great article on the best way to cook shrimp!

-If you don’t have pancetta, sub in Prosciutto or even some crumbled bacon. Or you can leave it out (though you’ll be missing the salty, savory explosion you get when you bite into one).

-Make it vegetarian by omitting the shrimp/pancetta and changing the chicken broth to vegetable broth.

-You can make it vegan by omitting the shrimp/pancetta, changing the chicken broth to vegetable broth, using either no whipping cream cream or a bit of coconut cream, and subbing in vegan cheese.

– I you’re looking to add or swap out veggies, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts are fantastic!

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