Today’s recipe is a perfect combination of food geek and pop culture geek. This dish was inspired by the Once Upon a Time season five previews of Emma’s Dark Swan persona. I wanted to create a beautiful and delicious black and white dish. I thought black rice would be the perfect, and the crab and parmesan cheese would provide great color contrast. Finally, I topped the whole dish off with feather-shaped parmesan crisp.
This dish was also heavily influenced by Massimo Bottura’s recipe Risotto Cacio e Pepe (found here) that was featured on the Netflix series Chef’s Table earlier this year. This is not meant to be a true risotto, hence the name creamy parmesan rice. Not only does it not use arborio rice, but it also not as creamy has risotto. The black rice keeps a nice al dente texture within the creamy sauce that is created in this recipe. Bottura created this recipe following an earthquake in Italy damaged several wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano, in order to use the damaged wheels. For the food geeks reading this, I cannot recommend the Chef’s Table series enough. Actually, stop reading this and go watch it now. I’ll wait.
When you are ready to try your hand at this recipe,you will need…
4 cups shellfish or chicken stock ( I used Better Than Bouillon’s lobster base)
3 cups parmesan broth (prepared as directed by Massimo Bottura’s recipe linked above)
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups black rice
2 shallots, minced
7 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp black pepper
7 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup parmesan cream
1 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 tsp fresh sage, minced
1 lb lump crab meat
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced
1 egg white
Mix the shellfish or chicken stock, parmesan broth, water, and one cup of white wine together and bring to a boil. In a separate pot, melt three tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once the butter is melted, add one of the shallots and four of the garlic cloves and cook until shallots are translucent. Add the rice and toss the it in the butter, shallot, and garlic mixture. Toast the rice for two to three minutes. Then, slowly add the liquid to the rice, stirring as you go. The liquid does not have to be completely absorbed before each new addition. As I said at the beginning, this is not a true risotto.
Finally, add the juice and zest of one lemon and the sage to the rice. Cook the rice in a covered pot until all of the liquid is absorbed. When the liquid is absorbed, finish the dish with two tablespoons of parmesan cream, a quarter cup of grated parmesan, and a quarter teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper.
While your rice is cooking, make your parmesan crisps. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix half a cup of grated parmigiano reggiano and the egg white together with a fork. Form the cheese mixture into the desired shape on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat. Grind some black pepper over the unbaked crisps. Bake until golden brown.
When the rice is almost ready, melt four tablespoons of unsalted butter in a saucepan. Add the remaining shallots and garlic cloves. Add the sea salt and cook for a few minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the remaining half cup of white wine. Add the the juice from two lemons and the remaining parmesan cream. Cook the sauce for five minutes.