Friday, April 5, 2013

Basic Risotto-Spring Version

We cook risotto often, it is a great showcase for different menus. The restaurants load it with heavy cream and tons of butter, which is always good. But, the result of ladling stock to the rice and then stirring to absorb the stock, creates a creamy dish without the addition of cream and extra butter.
There are many creations to be made with risotto, this is the basic, with spring vegetables.
Basic Risotto-Spring Version 

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced

1/2 cup dry white wine, room temperature
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, uncooked
20 stocks of asparagus, roasted or poached, sliced into 1-2 inch pieces (reserve tips for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan for garnish

Simmer stock in saucepan over low heat.

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil. Add shallot and onion and saute until softened, do not brown.
Add the rice and stir until each grain is well coated with oil and you see a white dot in the center.
Add the wine and stir until completely absorbed.
Add a ladle of the simmering stock to the rice, stir. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next ladle.
Repeat several times, waiting for the stock to be absorbed each time.
When the rice is almost tender and looks creamy, about 20-25 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in cheese, asparagus, peas and lemon zest.
Add another 1/4 cup of stock, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with asparagus tips and a little dusting of Parmesan.
Serve immediately.

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