Friday, May 30, 2014

Asparagus Risotto


Love going to the farmer's market to get fresh vegetables?  Do you always come home with WAY TOO MUCH?  I do, every time!  I just get so excited at all the cool things there that I just can't help myself.  Then I get home and think, now what?  Asparagus is one of my big weaknesses, and when it's in season here in Michigan, I go a little crazy.  We will eat it every single night during it's short season, so I need lots of recipes to go along with all of those spears.  Here is a favorite of mine, which of course, also uses beer.  Enjoy!

Asparagus Risotto

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces

6 cups chicken stock
olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 bottle beer, wheat, pilsner, or kolsch
1 lemon
2 tablespoons parsley
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 teaspoons salt.  Prepare a bowl with ice water in it and have next to the stove.  Also get a colander and place in the sink.  When the water boils,  add the asparagus and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender.  Drain in the colander, then plunge the asparagus into the ice water to stop the cooking process.  When cool, drain from the ice water and set aside.

Place the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Have a soup ladle ready by the stove.

In a large pot, saute the onion in some olive oil until soft and translucent.  Add the rice and cook until the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes.  Add the nutmeg.  Pour in the beer, and bring to a simmer, stirring.  When the beer is absorbed, start adding the broth a ladle full at a time. Stir after each addition until the liquid is absorbed.  You may not use all the broth, you want to cook the rice until it is creamy and slightly al dente.  This process will probably take you at least 30 minutes.  When the rice is done, grate the lemon zest into the dish, then squeeze in some juice.  Add the parsley, butter and parmesan cheese and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

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