Prepare Shrimp Stock: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the prepared Shrimp Stock (see recipe below) to a slow, steady simmer (the liquid should stay hot but not simmer). Place this pot on a burner, over low heat, next to the burner you will be using to make the risotto. Keep the broth simmering slowly.
Prepare Chive Gremolata: set aside until ready to use.
Trim and clean leeks: Thinly slice the white and light green portion. You need to thoroughly clean a leek because dirt can become trapped in its many layers. Trim the root portion right above the base (cutting too far up the stalk will remove the part that holds the layers together). Slice off the fibrous green tops, leaving only the white-to-light green stalk. Discard greens. Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then cut according to your recipe (slice, chop or dice).
In a large heavy 4-quart pan (or non-stick pan) over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter; add leeks and saute approximately 3 minutes or until soft (be careful not to brown the leeks).
Add the rice and cook, stirring approximately 1 to 2 minutes, making sure all the grains are well coated (toasting the rice in hot butter or oil keeps it from getting mushy). Toasting the rice also quickly heats up the grain's exterior (toast until the rice is hot to the touch and the color should remain pearly white and translucent, but not turn brown.
Add sherry wine and cook, stirring constantly until wine has been completely absorbed by the rice or evaporated.
Add liquid in increments: The quantity of liquid suggested in the recipes is always approximate. In actual cooking, you should be prepared to use more, or sometimes less, as the risotto itself requires. All the flavors that the cooking liquid starts out with become more concentrated and intense as it evaporates.
Add the hot Shrimp Broth (1/2 cup at a time), stirring frequently. Add liquid slowly and stirring frequently are the keys to making perfect risotto. Run your wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot to determine when each addition of broth is almost completely absorbed. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup of hot Shrimp Stock. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Risotto does not need constant attention during its 18 minute cooking time. You will just need to check on the pan every few minutes, give the rice a stir to keep it from sticking, and add more Shrimp Stock.
Finishing the Shrimp Risotto: The total amount of cooking time may vary within 2 to 3 minutes. The total cooking time from the first addition of Shrimp Stock should be approximately 22 minutes.
After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, stir in the snow peas and raw shrimp (that was set aside from making the Shrimp Stock). Cook until the shrimp are pink and firm, approximately 5 minutes. NOTE: When cooking with broth, if you have used up the broth before the rice is fully cooked, continue with simmering water.
Turn off the heat and immediately add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the parmesan cheese, stirring vigorously to combine with the rice. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat.
Serve immediately with the prepared Chive Gremolata as a garnish.
Makes 4 to 6 servings as a main dish.
Peel and devein shrimp and set aside to add to the finished risotto.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, place the shrimp shells, water, chicken stock, leeks, peppercorns, parsley, and bay leaves; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let stock simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the stock through a colander into a bowl; discard the solids.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the Shrimp Stock to a slow, steady simmer (the liquid should stay hot but not simmer). Place this pot on a burner, over low heat, next to the burner you will be using to make the risotto. Keep the broth simmering slowly.
Wash and thoroughly dry the chives.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt. Set aside until ready to use.
Makes approximately 4 tablespoons.