Friday, July 10, 2009

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

I love risotto. I have recently mastered the art of making it and this is my second successful attempt (it's really not that hard, I just had to acquire the patience). I had an entree very similar to this at an italian restaurant a few months ago so I decided to create my own version. When I asked the hubby what he thought his response was "It's a lot better than your plain risotto." I interpreted that as "I love your plain risotto but this one makes me happy because I actually got to eat mushrooms."

I read through this recipe as a guideline, but this is my adaptation of it. Also, I don't really pay attention to the time when I make risotto, I just nibble every now and then until the rice is the right consistency. When it has a tiny crunch left I add one more ladle of broth and call it a day.

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto
2 14 oz cans low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bunch asparagus
1 package shitake mushrooms(mine was 3.5 oz)
2 tbls. butter
1 tbls. olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1.5 cups arborio rice
1/2-3/4 cup parmesan cheese (good kind, not green tube kind)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Cut ends off asparagus and discard (or save for soup or something), cut tips to 1 1/4 inches, and the rest of the stem into 1/4 inch pieces. Add to boiling broth and boil for 3-4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, drain. Lower broth to simmer.

Melt one tbls. butter over medium heat in saucepan, add mushrooms. Saute for 4 minutes, remove. Let cool and chop into smaller pieces.
Heat one tbls. butter and one tbls. oil over medium heat, add shallot and garlic and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice, stir 1-2 minutes until toasted. Add wine and stir until completely absorbed. Add one lable of broth, simmer and stir continuously until absorbed. Continue to add broth a ladle or two at a time, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, add cheese and gently stir in mushrooms and asparagus. Let sit for 2 minutes to allow mushrooms and asparagus to heat up. Season as desired with salt and pepper.

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