Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Risotto with Organic Baby Shiitake & Asparagus

I have been craving Risotto the past few weeks, but I can't find the time to cook, what with life being extra hectic recently.  This weekend has been my easiest for the past three months, so I went to the market today with one mission-- find something for risotto -- and found these adorable organic baby shiitake.  I grabbed a bunch of asparagus, headed home and told Bill we are making Risotto and we are cooking in tandem - I cook and he takes pictures.

8 oz. asparagus, cut into 1 inch long pieces
8 oz. baby shiitake mushrooms, trim stems
3 T unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, minced finely
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups mushroom/asparagus broth
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup parmigiano-regianno, freshly grated

In 3 cups of salted water, parboil the asparagus for 3 minutes until bright in color and tender but not cooked through.  Remove from cooking liquid, refresh in cold water, drain well, set aside.  Repeat with the mushrooms.  The cooking liquid is now infused with the asparagus and mushroom and is about 2 1/2 cups.  Lower the heat for the cooking liquid so the liquid continues to simmer.

Using a heavy saucepan/skillet (if you use a light pan, the risotto might burn), heat  butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until onion is tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir well to coat each grain with the butter. 

Add wine, stirring frequently until reduced in half. 

Add 1/2 cup of the warm broth and cook the rice, stirring constantly, until the liquid has nearly cooked away.  Repeat this process, adding 1/2 cup of the broth at a time, until all of the broth has been added, about 20 minutes, and the rice has the consistency of a smooth, creamy porridge and is just tender, with a little resistance to the bite.

Add freshly ground pepper.

Add the asparagus and mushrooms.

Remove the risotto from the heat and fold in the cheese.

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