I got to do that — and eat everything in sight — at yesterday’s 2nd annual Rice Fest at Ala Moana Beach Park.
Not only did I make the rounds and sample the “rice-ipes” from vendors like Grandma G’s Kitchen, Kat’s Sushi and Shiga’licious, but I got to help Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis with his famous Keahole lobster risotto. (See recipe below)
I can’t complain. I was eating one of my favorite things — rice — with some of my favorite people. See what event looked like:
Rice love fest
Keahole Lobster Risotto
George Mavrothalassitis, Chef Mavro
from “The Hawaii Book of Rice” (Watermark Publishing)
Hot vegetable broth
8 cups water
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
4 cloves garlic
1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, fresh thyme and parsley, tied together)
Sea salt, pepper and ground red pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer for half an hour. Strain broth and cool.
1 pound whole lobster
8 c. hot vegetable broth (above)
Put lobster and broth into saucepot. Bring to a simmer; do not boil. When the lobster turns red, it is ready. Remove lobster, reserving broth for the risotto, and immediately cool the lobster in ice water. Keeping the tail shell on, cut the lobster between the joints into five sections. Remove the meat from the knuckles and claws, dice the meat and place on the side.
1/2 onion, minced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
Hot vegetable broth (above, as needed)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a cast-iron pot, saute the onion in one Tablespoon of butter until translucent. Add the rice and cook for about two minutes. Add the wine and cook until the rice absorbs the wine. While cooking, add hot broth, a little at a time, stirring constantly to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot. The rice has to be firm and tender and not stick together. Add the diced lobster meat; remove from heat and immediately add the remaining one Tablespoon of butter and the olive oil. Reheat the lobster tail sections in the remaining warm broth. Arrange the risotto in the center of a platter. Top with the lobster. Serve immediately.