Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Asparagus Risotto

I learned this recipe a few months ago here from simply recipes. Almost everyone in my family has tried it and said they liked it, so it must be okay. This recipe isn't hard, but it is a little time consuming. Like all risotto recipes I've seen, you have to watch it and stir almost the whole time, but it is so worth it in my opinion. I like to serve it with steak (because I love steak on the grill, and because Bill cooks it so it is one less thing I have to worry about).

Asparagus Risotto
From: Simply Recipes

1 pound asparagus
4 Tbs butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots (I just use whatever onion I have in the house)
1 cub Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (or lemon water if you prefer not to use wine)
3 1/2 cups chicken stock (may need a little more or less)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (I have used both imitation and the real thing... definitely better with the freshly grated, doesn't seem quite as heavy either)
Salt and Pepper

1. Prepare asparagus by breaking off and discarding the tough ends. Cut into 1 inch pieces (tips longer, base shorter).

2. Bring a saucepan with a quart of water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus pieces for 2 minutes. At the end of two minutes, used a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus pieces to an ice water bath to shock the asparagus into a vibrant green color and to stop the cooking. Drain from the ice water bath and set aside. (this step can be done in advance)

3. In a large saucepan, heat 3 Tbs butter on medium heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until translucent. While shallots are cooking... bring the stock to a simmer in a separate saucepan.

4. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.

5. Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine.

6. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Then add more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent teh rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue adding broth and stirring until absorbed until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 Min. Remove from heat.

7. Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1 tsp of butter, and the asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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