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Dinner Today! | SECOND HELPINGS

White Rice and Pink Crustacean

September 06, 2000|DIANE MORGAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Shrimp, whether steamed, boiled or skewered and grilled, makes for an easy weeknight meal accompanied by a big salad and bread. Plan ahead and cook extra shrimp for another quick meal.

In this recipe, the leftover shrimp stay plump and moist because they are added right when the risotto is finished and just heated through. The pretty pink shrimp glisten through the creamy white rice, the cherry tomatoes add color contrast and the orange-garlic-cilantro garnish provides a robust finish. This dish is definitely attractive enough to serve to guests.

Look in the rice and pasta aisle of well-stocked supermarkets for Arborio rice. It is also readily available at specialty stores carrying Italian foods.

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Morgan is author of "Cooking for the Week: Leisurely Weekend Cooking for Easy Weekday Meals," (Chronicle Books, $18.95).

Risotto With Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 35 minutes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup minced cilantro

Zest of 1 orange

5 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup finely chopped white onion

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

3/4 pound cooked, shelled shrimp, cut crosswise in half

1/2 pint orange or red cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 cup whipping cream

Freshly ground pepper

* Combine garlic, cilantro and orange zest in small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

* Bring chicken broth to simmer in small saucepan. Heat oil in 3 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl to coat pan, then add onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir until grains are well-coated with oil, about 1 minute. Add wine and bring to boil.

* Add 1/2 cup broth to rice and cook, stirring frequently, until rice has almost completely absorbed the liquid. Adjust heat so risotto is kept at slow simmer. Repeat, adding 1/2 cup broth at a time, reserving 1/4 cup. After about 18 minutes, rice will be plump and cooked through but will still have a nice texture.

* Add shrimp, tomatoes, cream and remaining broth. Stir gently 1 to 2 minutes, allowing some of liquid to be absorbed and shrimp to heat through. Add pepper to taste. Spoon risotto into warm flat bowls, garnish with reserved garlic mixture and serve immediately.

4 servings. Each serving: 634 calories; 1,179 mg sodium; 208 mg cholesterol; 24 grams fat; 62 grams carbohydrates; 31 grams protein; 0.41 gram fiber.

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Napkins from Windows, Pasadena.

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