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Asparagus Risotto – A Knockoff!

Do you knock off more than just designer clothes? I do… You know I love to cook. But I also love to dine out. My favorite part of dining out? Coming home and recreating that dish in my kitchen my way.

Last month at Engine Co. No. 28 restaurant at PR Weekend Los Angeles, I fell in love with the Asparagus Risotto and decided that I needed to make this at home.

So, I got to work…

Gagan is away this week and even though it’s just me at home, I often take this time to try out new recipes and treat myself 🙂

Here’s my take on Asparagus Risotto and I must say I am very pleased with my version.

Now usually while making Risotto, it’s 1 part arborio rice and 6 parts liquid (water/stock). I do equal parts of water and vegetable stock which I heat up in separate pots so if I have any left over stock I can stick it back in the fridge.

One bundle Asparagus ( I think it’s about a pound??)
One cup Arborio rice
1-2 shallots, finely chopped
6 cups stock or water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (use more or less depending on your taste)
salt and pepper to taste
splash of white wine (if you like to add it in your risotto, I don’t)
butter, oil

Start your Risotto the usual way. I do butter and oil combo, saute shallots, add the rice, toast it, then start adding hot stock (you want to keep your stock/liquid really hot on the next burner. Keep stirring as the stock cooks and evaporates. I was watching Alton Brown’s Good Eats show one night and he gave a great tip on when to add more stock to risotto. Take your spatula and give it a vertical sweep across your pan. If you see liquid oozing out from both sides, you are good, if it’s pretty dry like it is in this photo, it’s time for more stock.

Ok, so you keep doing it until your risotto is almost done. Oh, and don’t forget to add salt and pepper.

While your risotto is cooking, lets prepare the asparagus. Snap the ends off and steam the whole bundle for 5 minutes. Take the asparagus out from the steamer and reserve 4-5 stems. Stick the rest in a food processor, add a little bit of stock or water and puree it.

When your risotto is almost done, instead of the last batch of liquid, add the asparagus puree. Chop the reserved asparagus and add it to the pan as well. Finally, add the Parmesan cheese and serve!

So, there you go… Asparagus Risotto. I hope you’ll like it as much as I did. So now tell me, what do you cook when you are home alone?

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