23 July 2009

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto

I'm back! Woo!

I do apologize for the delay in making this post. I will do my best to get back to the twice weekly updates now. Hopefully, at least!

I love a good risotto, and one of my favorite things with making one is how it tastes and looks like it was hard to make and cost a lot. This does not have to be true at all (unless you like to throw copious amounts of extremely difficult-to-cook ingredients in there, and top it all off with real diamonds, of course.) This specific risotto is pretty awesome, and very quick to prepare. Enjoy!

Note: apparently, there's one of these on Olive Garden's menu. This, however, is good as opposed to what I can only assume is a travesty of food that they would serve you there.

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto (Risotto di gamberetti e asparagi)

Serves 2

10 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
10-15 asparagus stems
1/2 medium sweet or yellow onion
1 cup arborio rice (risotto rice)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3-4 cups chicken stock, possibly more
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Start by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and add about two teaspoons of salt. While you're waiting for the water to boil, clean the asparagus and cut off the very bottom ends. If there are some very large stems, cut them in two pieces. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus and boil for four minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to an ice bath to avoid further cooking.

Next, prepare the shrimp - peel and get rid of the veins. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, or until pink. Set aside. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer, but don't let it boil so it starts reducing too much. Covering the pot should keep the liquid from evaporating.

Next, chop the onion into small pieces and place in a pan, together with the oil, over medium heat. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Next, add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute. Do not let the rice get any color. Add the wine and lemon juice, and continue to stir constantly, until the wine has been absorbed. At this point, start adding the simmering chicken stock, 1/2 cup at the time, while you continue to stir. Once it's evaporated, add the next half cup and continue this process until the rice is al dente - cooked through, but still slightly hard.

Once the rice is finished, add the butter and Parmesan cheese, then stir. Salt and pepper to taste, then add the asparagus and shrimp. Stir until everything has heated up, then serve immediately with fresh bread and the white wine you used in the risotto, if you have any left!

01 July 2009

I Am Lazy...

Yes, I am aware that I haven't updated for a while now. It sucks. I'm sorry. I've been busy at work and haven't had the energy to update in the evenings. It'll get better soon - just got some new toys for the kitchen and will post about them in the coming days. That's a promise.

In the meantime, here's Alton Brown's segment on the Food Network All-Star Grillfest.