Roasted Red Pepper Risotto with Grilled Gulf Shrimp

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Mockingbird Bistro risotto

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups hot chicken stock, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, julienned, plus more for garnish
  • 10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup basil oil (see note)
  • Kosher salt to taste
Serving Size

2 servings

Mockingbird Bistro’s famous Chef/Owner John Sheely shared this recipe for his Roasted Red Pepper Risotto with Grilled Shrimp.  If you’ve never dined at Mockingbird Bistro in Houston, it’s a must-do.  The food is wonderful and the ‘funky goth’ interior is appealing – the beautiful fresh flowers scattered about reminded me of the French countryside.  The food is Mediterranean with Chef Sheely’s embellishments…tres bon!


Heat oil in saucepan; add onion and sweat (let cook until softened but not brown)  2 minutes.  Add rice; stir 1 to 2 minutes until well coated.  Add ½ cup stock and cook, stirring constantly, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid.  Simmer, adding remaining stock ½ cup at a time.  Add salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper;  continue to stir until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender but still slightly firm.  Add Parmesan, butter and julienned pepper;  stir until well-mixed.

While risotto is simmering, marinate shrimp in basil oil, kosher salt and black pepper 5 minutes.  Grill shrimp 3 minutes on each side.  Risotto is done when most of the liquid has reduced and rice is creamy yet slightly firm.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Arrange shrimp over top of risotto in circular pattern.  Garnish with red pepper strips.

Note:  For basil oil, process 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves in food processor until finely chopped, then blend in ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil.

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