19 December 2010

hit list challenge item: Risotto

You'd think I'd be blowing up the blog with Christmas cookie recipes. Well, I wish I had been, but not so much, lol. Wll, since I'm not playing any sports (shocker) and I dropped choir, I had a lot of free time so I picked up a seasonal job. So, there goes my free time to bake, lol.

BUT, I did make time for Friendsmas* at Ang.'s. It was a perfect time to try out a new recipe and to knock out one of my Hit List items. There are only a few things left, so I went with the risotto. Since she was making the pot roast, I opted for a side dish version. It was yummy! The addition of meyer lemon zest really made the flavor sing. Or as Danielle said, "what is that extra something... it tastes... zesty..." Lol.
I was actually quite surprised at how easy risotto is. It's not HARD to make per se, since it's mostly just stirring. It is just time consuming. Patience is definitely your friend here... Like the original recipe said it'd take some 18 minutes for it to cook, mine probably took closer to 25-30. Be patient, taste it along the way, and enjoy.

*Friendsmas = the Christmas version of Friendsgiving, of course!

Asparagus Risotto
adapted from Gourmet

4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 lb asparagus
3/4 sweet onion, chopped small
4 tbsp butter, divided
1 1/4 C arborio rice
1/4 C white wine
lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 C parmesan, (freshly grated, may want to use less if using the plastic jar kind)

Snap the ends of the asparagus then cut into 1" pieces. Bring the broth and water to a boil. Add the asparagus, reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes until tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus and put in an ice bath to stop the cooking, then drain. Keep the broth/water mix on the stove.

In a large pan, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender - about 5-6 minutes. Add the rice, stir constantly, and cook for about a minute.

This is where the patience begins :-)

Add 1/2 C of the broth mix to the risotto and mix until absorbed. When it's absorbed, add another 1/2 C of the broth and mix until absorbed. Keep repeating - adding 1/2 C at a time and allowing to absorbe before adding more - until the rice is al dente. (Note: it should be simmering, and mine wasn't, which is probably why mine took so long to cook,)

Stir in the asparagus, remaining 2 tbsp butter, parmesan, and lemon zest. Serve hot.

This can easily be made into a main course by adding shrimp, but otherwise this works as a lovely vegetarian side.

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