Maren called me about 3 weeks ago to arrange a surprise visit on Thursday, February 12th. Unbeknown to Ronnie, Kari was flying to Charleston and along with Maren and Thea they were heading to Amelia Island for a girls weekend with old high school pals. Drive to Fripp Island on Thursday, spend the night here and on south to Amelia Island on Friday morning. So, my job was to keep the secret and figure out how to come up with something for dinner after they arrived. Since Ronnie loves shrimp, the night before the girls were to arrive I asked her to pick out a shrimp recipe and told her I would pick up the ingredients since I had to go to Beaufort the next day anyway. Easy, I would simply get two pounds of fresh shrimp instead of one and an extra box of risotto.
At the other end, Thea and Maren had to pick up Kari at the Charleston airport and drop off dogs but hoped to get here by 6PM. I kept Ronnie busy in the kitchen talking until 6 then 6:30. It was getting dark so I slipped into the entry hall to turn on an outside light in front. I kept her busy explaining to me how Maren’s upcoming beach wedding was going to work. The girls pulled into the driveway with lights out very slowly about 7PM then crept around the side and quietly up onto the back porch. Ronnie’s back was to the kitchen door and, SURPRISE ! They were in the house before she turned around. She just couldn’t believe her eyes.
They were hungry so a snack before starting to cook was in order. Kari found cream cheese and some spicy stuff to put on it.
It was quickly devoured with some white wine and lots of talk.
Time to start the serious cooking so Thea began the salad while Ronnie started on the entree, Creamy Shrimp Risotto.
Step one for the entree is to saute some red onions in olive oil until tender then stir in the risotto. Next add some white wine, bring to boil and cook the wine down. Add the first cup of chicken broth, bring to a boil stirring vigorously then cover and reduce to simmer for five minutes. This last step of adding chicken broth, bringing to boil and simmering for five minutes gets repeated 5 or 6 times. Thus the risotto absorbs the broth and softens. Near the end a box of frozen peas is added and the last step is to put the shrimp in and stir for a few minutes until they all turn pink. Below are a few scenes:
This version of risotto is healthy but the version with lots of parmesan cheese is really sinful. At any rate, the meal was a success. The girls talked and I washed dishes. I went to bed. They stayed up late but next day they all looked good and ready for the 4 hour drive to Amelia Island. It was a lot of fun.