Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Can't Resist a Sweet Italian Nonna

If Nonna Luna's Rice (pg 95) is the dish that best represents Giada's grandmother, I imagine her to be a plump, warm dumpling of a woman, always ready with a hug and a treat stashed in her pocket. Under no circumstances are you to attempt this meal if you're concerned with your weight. Honestly, you might want to stop reading now, lest you gain a pound through caloric osmosis.

Still with me? Okay. First, you toast rice for about six minutes in half a stick of butter. Don't worry, we'll use the other half before we're through. Giada says that taking the extra time to do this "gives the dish a nutty flavor that takes it from good to great." I don't think I'd go that far, but the rice did have a nutty flavor and a firmer consistency than I usually get. Once the grains are golden, you simmer the rice in chicken broth and a tablespoon of hot sauce until it's finished.

The shrimp component is equally simple. Melt the other half of your stick of butter and add some garlic. When fragrant, add the shrimp, lemon juice, and more hot sauce. Cook the shrimp through, then stir in a cup of cream. Serve the shrimp on the rice. Gain forty pounds.
I was worried that this would be really spicy, because two tablespoons of Tabasco seems like a lot to me, but it wasn't. It was so mild that Charlie ate it without any alteration. The Tabasco became a background flavor. I think the cream muted its hotness. This mostly tasted of butter and cream.

Conclusion: Liked it, though I don't expect to make this often. It's quite heavy. Excuse me while I squeeze into some fat-pants.


  1. Mmm...shrimp in a cream sauce...decadent and definitely a "sometimes" only treat. Great post!

  2. Heh. Glad I'm not the only one to has some fat-pants in reserve for those nights when you just can't make it through the meal without a full stick of butter :)

  3. my friend who lives in Jekyll Island posted this a few moths ago- this was the winner of their insanely decadent Shrimp and Grits festival:
    because you can buy such great Gulf shrimp you might want to do the coastal South Carolina shrimp and grits treatment. I have also had creamy shrimp with fried polenta , esp. because of the crunchy skinned polenta- wow, so much better than rice.