Monday, March 22, 2010

Asparagus Risotto

I started making risotto a while back. I was always afraid to make it because it seemed like something only expert chefs should tackle. You need a special type of rice, and the stock has to be added a little at a time. Not only did it seems complicated but labor intensive. Since I started making it, I realized that I was pretty much wrong. Yes, there seems like a lot of steps to making a good risotto, and yes it does take some time to do it, but it wasn't that hard. Risotto is also something that can be a starter, main course or side dish realativly easy with the addition of a couple ingredients. When I make a risotto with a vegetable in it, such as this dish, I normally serve it as a side, killing two birds with one stone, with a starch and a veggie in the same dish. Now this doesn't mean that I don't serve another vegetable as well, often I do. Asparagus is just starting to come into season now so I thought it would be the perfect addition to my risotto.

What You Need:

6-8 cups of veggie or chicken stock
3 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup aborio or other risotto rice
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
white pepper
2 tbs butter

What To Do:

Bring the stock up to a boil and reduce to just barely a simmer. Trim the asparagus and drop into the stock for about 2-3 minutes, just to blanch them, removing them to an ice water bath. This makes and keeps them nice and green.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, add in the rice, stirring to coat in the oil. Cook the rice until it becomes shiny and opaque. This takes about 2 minutes. Add in about 3 ladles full of stock and give the rice a stir. Let the stock be absorbed by the rice, stirring occasionally, until about half the stock has been absorbed. Continue add in the stock one ladle full at a time, stirring and letting the rice absorb the most of the liquid after each addition. Once you have about half the stock into the rice is when I start for checking for doneness.

While your working on the risotto, you can finish the asparagus. Cut the the asparagus a little more then half way from the bottom. Chop the stems into rounds to add to the risotto later. Once the risotto is almost done, place the tops back into the simmer broth to heat through for the garnish.

Before I ladle in more stock I take a small bite of the risotto. Most of the time I use just about all of the stock, but sometimes it's not needed. Once the rice is completely cooked, I add in one last ladle of stock, a pinch of salt and white pepper, the Parmesan cheese, and the sliced asparagus. Give it a stir to combine before stirring in the butter. Risotto should have a nice creamy texture. Garnish with the reserved asparagus tops.

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! Thanks for sharing this.

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Love your blog.


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