My day starts one of three ways. Well, after I’ve brushed my teeth, washed my face, dressed, made the bed and fed and walked the dogs anyway. My day starts with a 5-6 mile run (or walk if the knee is barking), 1½ hours of swimming laps, or 1½ hours of hopping from machine to machine at the gym. And apart from being a sucker for punishment, I do it so that sometimes … if I’m good … I can have one of my favorite things for dinner – risotto! Specifically my favorite flavor combination – Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto.
For years I would order risotto at restaurants and never dream of trying to make it at home. It seemed like a magical dish that only a professional chef could achieve. But, one day I got brave. I bought some arborio rice and gave it a whirl. And you know what? It turned out pretty darn guuuuuuud!
How Magical Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto is Made:
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 small yellow onion, diced finely
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 1½ cups asparagus, chopped and steamed
- 1½ cups of cooked shrimp
- salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock, then allow to simmer on low.
- In a large pan heat olive oil on med-high.
- Add rice and stir until slightly toasted (2-3 min.).
- Next, add the onion and stir until it becomes tender.
- Put mirin and lemon juice in and stir until incorporated.
- Substitute mirin with a half cup of white wine if desired.
- Stir in about half a cup of the chicken stock to the rice and continue stirring until liquid has absorbed.
- Repeat the process until all of the chicken stock has been soaked up by the rice.
- At this stage, add butter in pats and stir until melted and well combined.
- Add steamed asparagus, shrimp, salt and pepper.
- Finally, pour in the parmesan and give it a good stir.
In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock, then allow to simmer on low. On another burner, heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high. Add the rice and stir until the rice is toasted and ever so slightly golden (about 2-3 minutes). Don’t allow to brown.
Add the onion and stir until it becomes tender. Add the mirin and lemon juice and stir until incorporated. Instead of mirin, you could add a half cup of white wine if you have it on hand – I prefer to drink mine. Add about half a cup of the chicken stock to the rice and stir constantly until liquid has absorbed. Repeat the process until all of the chicken stock has been absorbed by the rice. It’s a slow process that will require a little patience. Hang in there – it will be worth it!
At this stage, add the butter in pats and stir until melted and well combined. Next, add the steamed asparagus, shrimp, salt and pepper. Finally, pour in the parmesan and give it a good stir. You want the rice to be creamy, but al dente. Risotto is best served immediately! Dig in!