This Baked Peach-Champagne Risotto with Scallops is just as creamy and dreamy as the stove-top kind, but it requires NO stirring! Delicately flavored with peach, champagne and chives, this risotto is to die for delicious!
Risotto is one of those comforting dishes that I absolutely adore, but slightly dread preparing. Much like eggs benedict… delicious, but hollandaise from scratch? Pain in the rear! The constant stirring (or whisking for hollandaise)… I need a nap or a shoulder massage just thinking about it.
But, the slow addition of hot stock and constant stirring is what makes risotto so creamy, rich and insanely delicious.
As a culinary school graduate, when I hear about a short cut to prepare a labor of love type dish, imaginary red flags automatically go up and start waving frantically in my mind. I’m always skeptical.
My first thoughts will ALWAYS be:
“Pshhhh, yeah right.”
“Too good to be true!”
“Alright, if it IS possible to cut a corner in a recipe, I’m positive it will only be a fraction as tasty as it would be if it was prepared the PROPER way.”
I blame culinary school for making me a recipe snob. Scratch that. This oven baked risotto turned me into a reformed recipe snob, who is no longer a skeptic of short cuts in the kitchen.
This risotto is just as creamy, decadent and delicious as its labor intensive twin. And I didn’t have to break a sweat. Winner in my book!
For the cooking liquid, I used a combination of chicken stock with peach flavored champagne (okay, technically a peach flavored sparkling wine, since it did not come from the champagne district of France). It paired amazingly with the scallops, chives and romano cheese. I had a seriously hard time not shoveling it straight from the pot and directly into my mouth.
As well, if you don’t want to spend the money on purchasing U10 scallops (I know they are pricey), bay scallops, shrimp or salmon can very easily be used instead. The resulting dish will still be amazing, I promise!
If you don’t prepare risotto because of the hassle of standing over a hot stove, ladling and stirring until you are blue in the face, or if you have not attempted to make risotto because you thought it was too difficult…. Have no fear. Oven baked risotto is here… to save the day. And your arm.
So preheat your oven, take a load off, and indulge in risotto, made the easy way.
Cheers and Enjoy!
Baked Peach-Champagne Risotto with Scallops
- 2 TBS Butter (can substitute Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 1 large Shallot – minced (about scant ¼ C)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 3/4 cup Peach flavored Champagne – Divided (into ½ cup and ¼ cup)
- 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth – warmed
- ½ pound U10 Scallops (about 6-8 scallops) – patted dry (can substitute bay scallops, shrimp, salmon… any fish you like)
- 1 TB Olive Oil
- 1/3 Heaping Cup Romano Cheese , plus more for garnish or more depending on how much you like Cheese (optional)
- 2 TBS Half and Half (can substitute 1 ½ TB Cold Butter – cut into 2 pads)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
- Handful Chives (about 3 TBS) plus more for garnish, optional – finely cut
- 2 TBS Butter
- ¼ Heaping cup Peach flavored Champagne
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Preheat an oven to 400°F.
- Heat a 3 -4 quart stock pot or wide Dutch oven, with a tight fitting lid, over medium – medium/low heat and warm the Butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and season with a few pinches of salt (about 1/8th tsp) and cook for 30 seconds -1 minute, until aromatic.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted and every grain is coated with Butter, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of the Champagne and cook for 2 minute, until Arborio starts to look creamy in texture. Stir in the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid simmer (this will take about 2 minutes).
- Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake, stirring once halfway through, until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 25 minutes.
- While Risotto is baking, Sauté the Scallops. Heat Oil in a Cast iron skillet (or nonstick sauté pan) over medium high heat. Season Scallops with Salt and Pepper. Sauté 2 minutes (don’t move them or touch them as they are cooking, you want to develop a nice crust on the outside), flip and cook an additional 1 ½ to 2 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from pan, transfer to a plate and set aside. (Optionally – remove scallops to a cutting board. Cut scallops in ½ or 3rds and set aside.)
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add butter, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Once melted, add the (1/4th cup) champagne. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a whisk and bring sauce to a boil. Cook until reduced to desired consistency. (I reduced mine for about 4 minutes). Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
- Transfer Risotto to the Stove top. Over low heat, stir the remaining 1/4 cup Champagne into the risotto, then stir in the cheese.
- Remove from heat and stir in ½ and ½. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve: spoon the risotto into warmed bowls, top with sautéed Scallops, reserved sauce, and garnish with Chives and additional Parmigianino, if desired. Serve immediately.