After a big buffet party on April 1, we had leftovers galore! A delicious Honey Baked Ham provided many sandwiches through the past week and last night I decided to serve some of the slices for dinner.
I had some beautiful asparagus in the refrigerator and all the ingredients for risotto which seemed like a good accompaniment to the ham. With strawberries, pound cake and vanilla ice cream, we had all the makings for a delicious dinner. Best of all, the only thing I had to cook was the risotto. The recipe follows. It is from the Epicurious website from a 1995 Bon Appetit magazine.
ASPARAGUS RISOTTO (Makes 4-6 generous servings)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 2″ lengths (I cut the stems 1″ instead)
5 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. Arborio rice (or medium grain white rice)
1/2 c. dry white wine
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter (I only used 4 T.)
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 oz.)
Blanch asparagus in a large pot of boiling, salted water for two minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water and drain. Set aside.
Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Keep on low heat on standby.
In another large saucepan, preferably one with a heavy bottom, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes.
Add the dry wine and cook and stir until the liquid evaporates. Add 1 cup of broth.
Stir nearly constantly until the broth is absorbed. Keep adding the broth, about 1 cup at a time, and stir constantly, until the rice is tender but still slightly firm in the center and until the mixture is creamy. This takes about 20 minutes. If it you run out of broth before the rice is tender, you can use water instead, and keep cooking and stirring until the rice is ready.
Add the blanched asparagus and stir gently until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until it is incorporated. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
I added 1 cup of thawed frozen peas, microwaved for one minute, to the risotto just before adding the asparagus. In the past, I have added leftover cooked spinach, creamed or plain, at the same time. Fresh spinach could have been added as well. Here is a recipe for Risotto Verde (green risotto) that I want to try soon. It too has spinach and peas with arugula as well, but no asparagus. I bet it is a beautiful green color, perfect for spring.
I found the following recipe for Risotto Verde on the internet in Spanish. Google translated it thusly:
Ingredients for 4/6 people
300 gr. of rice type arborio
500 gr. of green vegetables of the time
1 small glass of dry white wine
60 gr. of parmesano cheese just rallado
1 onion small bite
20 gr. of mantequilla
1 liter of bird broth
salt, olive oil
Time of accomplishment 25 minutes
1. To clean or vegetables and to cut them to dices or in Julian. To cut the onion and to gild it in oil and mantequilla in a casserole or great stew.
2. To add the rice next to all vegetables. To let toast during moments, add the glass of white wine and leave evaporates. To add a dipper of the hot broth, to take it to boiling and to be adding broth dippers little by little and removing from time to time. To verify the salt point.
3. When the rice is ready, to add the parmesano cheese, a little mantequilla and to serve very hot.
Isn’t that great? I could follow that recipe with no problem. I might need to think a bit to convert the grams to whatever I could easily measure. I know “mantequilla” is “butter” but I’m not sure what type of bird to use for the broth. Robin, crow?
I’ve heard of eating crow and I’ve had to do it from time to time, but don’t tell anyone!
PS. The internet is a fount of information regarding food and the preparation thereof. One could spend, well, at least I could spend hours just jumping from site to site finding new tidbits of information about food and recipes. It is amazing and free. Just “Google” a type of food or the name of a recipes and watch what happens. Wow!