This dish is very Summery and the risotto is fresh and can be easily made with asparagus if you are not a fan of the fennel. Yesterday I made a version of it and instead of lobster we topped it with a grilled shrimp kebab, so very versatile, you should try it out!
The prosciutto I used in this recipe is Prosciutto di San Daniele. I really like it, and while it is absolutely delicious to eat with yummy cheese and olives, it is also great to cook with, much better than what I am used to with prosciutto from Croatia, which is a bit drier than Prosciutto di San Daniele.
Prosciutto makes me think of home, and I miss seafood. I happened to find some nice lobster tails at the deli where I bought Prosciutto di San Daniele and my mouth drooled at the idea of combining the two. Fennel came next in mind, and that is how the meal came together. I hope if you decide to make it, you enjoy it as much as we did!
Prosciutto Wrapped Lobster Tail Over Creamy Fennel Risotto
Prosciutto Wrapped Lobster Tails
2 lobster tails (around 4 or 5 oz each), shell removed and devained
2 thin slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele (plus 2 for snacking)
Put a skewer through the lobster tails lengthwise and blanch them for about a minute. Put a few drops of olive oil on the tail and then carefully wrap a slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele around each lobster tail and secure with a toothpick before grilling.
I decided to use my grill pan for this, because it was cold outside and I didn't want to fire up my grill for such a small meal. Any pan will do just fine as well.
Grill the tail for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side depending on the size of the tails you have.
Put it on top of the risotto and finish seasoning it with some freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
Creamy Fennel Risotto
1 cup Arborio rice
4 to 5 cups of seafood or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 medium shallots
one minced garlic clove
1/4 of chopped parsley
1 large fennel
1/2 cup of white vine
1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese
2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp of butter
salt and ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a big pan. In a separate pot heat up the stock while.
Finely dice shallots and saute them until translucent. Clean and slice the fennel and add it to the pan. Saute until it starts getting slightly browned and then add the minced garlic and keep cooking for about 30 seconds. Add chopped parsley. Pour vine over the fennel and cook for a few minutes, until it reduces nicely.
Once vine is reduced, add the rice to the big pan and cook it for a couple of minutes, constantly stirring until it gets translucent around the edges, and then slowly start adding the stock.
Love your rice and enjoy cooking it, as ridiculous as it sounds. If you are impatient or too busy to stand over it for 20 or so minutes, opt for a pasta dish. Risotto is not hard to make, how some people like to think, but it does require your attention or you will ruin it. It does not need to be stirred without stopping for 20 minutes, at least not in the beginning, but you can't let it go for five or even two minutes unsupervised either. Especially in the end when everything counts.
You may not use all of the stock you prepared, and sometimes I had to reach for some more in the end, you will see how much your rice needs one you start cooking it.
After about 10 to 15 minutes, when the rice is more than half way done, mix in the Mascarpone and Parmesan cheese. It will take this risotto on another level and make it beautifully creamy.Continue mixing and cooking until the rice is al dente and then remove from the heat. Risotto should still be runnier than you want it at this point. Divide the butter in a few smaller pieces, gently mix it in the risotto and forget about it for two minutes.
Plate the risotto and put your beautiful Prosciutto wrapped lobster tail on top.
If you are not a fan of lobster, this dish would be gorgeous with large prawn tails wrapped in prosciutto. In that case you would use one slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele sliced once lengthwise and then cut in half, to wrap 4 prawn tails. Since they are smaller there is no need to blanch them first, and you can skewer four tails on one skewer stick and grill like that, about two to three minutes per side.