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Dear Valentine, I will make the Best Risotto Ever for you

Try scallops with lobster claws for unbeatable subtle elegance.

Here is a triumph of a recipe which highlights what a great idea it is to combine lobster fishing and scallop raising. Same boat, same crew, same bay but slightly different schedule for each fishery.

For the cook, this recipe can be done in a variety of orders depending on what you have in your freezer or how many helpers or how much time you have. Feel free to rearrange these instructions to suit.

Lightly brown 1-1/2 cups Arborio rice in olive oil in a heavy pan such as Dutch oven on the stove top or in a 350˚ oven while it is preheating.

Boil fresh lobsters in several inches of water for 12-15 minutes. Remove the lobster and set aside to cool. If your lobsters are soft shelled using kitchen scissors may make it easier to extract the claw meats in one whole piece. Save the cooking water and juices which come out of the lobster as you prepare them.

Thaw scallops that you previously cooked, shucked and gutted, and frozen in their juices. Or shuck and gut fresh live scallops if you are lucky enough to have them. A few scallops with bright red roe look very nice for this dish. Both the lobster and the scallops can be prepared ahead for this recipe.

Lightly saute till softened your choice of leeks, minced Vidalia onion or small Walla Walla onions- any mild onion will do. You may add a clove of finely minced garlic. Remove from heat while they are still golden and set aside.

Now fill a pot with the broths drained from the scallops and lobsters. Add the thorax shell carapaces and small legs from the lobsters and any juice that drained as you were shelling the lobsters. (Save the tails and knuckles for another meal. Lobster rolls or lobster salad, anyone?) You will slightly reduce this stock for full flavor as follows: carefully remove the claw meats and set aside while you add those shell bits and any undifferentiated protein to the cooking broth. Add any juices and some white wine and your choice of vegetable broth, chicken broth, or seafood stock if necessary to make 2- 2/12 cups of broth in which to cook the rice.

Once again you can do this on the stove top or in the 350˚ oven for 20 minutes or so till the broth is absorbed and the rice is al dente soft.

Meanwhile, slightly brown a few tablespoons of butter. Don’t let it scorch! The claw meats and scallops can now be slightly heated in this delicious butter with its heightened flavor due to the slight browning.

You may choose to serve right in the dutch oven or remove the rice to a serving dish. In either case, top the rice with the warmed scallops, lobster and onions in a decorative manner. This delicate dish is delicious at room temperature.

Serve and smile. This just cannot be beat.

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