Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Easy Lemon Asparagus Risotto


I've always been intimidated by risotto.  That's probably because my husband and I love to watch Hell's Kitchen and have learned that Gordon Ramsay is very particular about his risotto.  He always sends it back to the chef- it's overcooked, undercooked, under seasoned... the list goes on!  So I always felt, if these professional cooks can't handle risotto, what makes me think I can?!

Well, I came across this recipe at Annie's Eats recently and as she explained, most people are turned off by  the slow addition of liquid and constant stirring, but she describes this recipe as an "almost hands-free version".  This intrigued me and made me think, this could be a perfect beginners recipe.  It sounded from her intro like she has had a lot of experience making risotto and found this recipe authentic to the traditional technique, but much easier.  How perfect!

I am so happy I decided to try it because this risotto was absolutely delicious, while being easy at the same time.  No tricks or obscure steps required- just a few basic techniques that actually reminded me of traditional rice making.  

Although, with very different results from a typical rice side.  The texture is authentic to traditional risotto with it's creamy, thick consistency and great al dente bite.  As well as flavorful with all of the wonderful ingredients used to make up this dish.  I love the addition of white wine with the chicken broth base as well as the use of fresh herbs and lemons- full of flavors that I thoroughly enjoyed! 

This risotto recipe is a great base to start with, while allowing you to add your own creative spin.  You can substitute the asparagus with any flavor combination you enjoy.  However you like it, this recipe takes away the intimidation factor risotto so often has.  It's a great beginner recipe if you've been meaning to try it, but haven't had the confidence to do it.

(Coincidentally my best friend Liz at Blog is the New Black posted a Three Cheese Risotto recipe today too!  Check her version out here!)


Begin with melting two tablespoon of butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Once almost melted through, add your garlic and saute until it looks like it might begin to golden, about 30 seconds:


Then add your Arborio rice:


Stir to coat and cook until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes, making sure to stir regularly:


Then add the wine:



And cook until the liquid is fully absorbed:


Meanwhile, combine your two cups of water and chicken stock together and add 5 cups of the liquid to your pot:


Raise your temperature to high/medium to bring your broth to a very low simmer:


Then cover and immediately lower your temperature to low:

Cook for 16-19 minutes, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, making sure to stir twice while it's cooking:
Meanwhile, prepare your other ingredients.  Chop your chives:


And your parsley:


As well as prepare your asparagus by rinsing it, breaking off the ends, cooking it, and then slicing them into 1 inch pieces, cut at an angle:


Once your rice is cooked to al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed, turn off your burner and stir in your Parmesan cheese. If your risotto appears to be drying up, warm 3/4 cup of the remaining chicken broth and water mixture in the microwave for one minute and gradually add it until you've reach your desired consistency.  Then remove your pot from the stove:


Add 2 tablespoons of butter:


Your fresh herbs:


Freshly squeezed lemon juice:


Lemon zest and chopped asparagus, as well as any other ingredients you'd like to add to your risotto:


And serve immediately:








Easy Lemon Asparagus Risotto
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16-19 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
4 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups water 
5 cups chicken broth

1 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chipped
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup chopped asparagus


Directions

Begin with melting two tablespoon of butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Once almost melted through, add your garlic and saute until it looks like it might begin to golden, about 30 seconds.  Then add your Arborio rice. Stir to coat and cook until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes, making sure to stir regularly.  Then add the wine and cook until the liquid is fully absorbed.  Meanwhile, combine your two cups of water and chicken stock together.  Then add 5 cups of the liquid to your pot.  Raise your temperature to high/medium to bring your broth to a very low simmer.  Then cover and immediately lower your temperature to low. Cook for 16-19 minutes, until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, making sure to stir twice while it's cooking.  

Meanwhile, chop your chives and your parsley.  As well as prepare your asparagus by rinsing it, breaking off the ends, cooking it, and then slicing them into 1 inch pieces, cut at an angle.  Once your rice is cooked to al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed, turn off the heat and stir in your Parmesan cheese. If your risotto appears to be drying up, warm 3/4 cup of the remaining chicken broth and water mixture in the microwave for 1 minute and gradually add it to your rice until you've reach your desired consistency.  Then remove your pot from the stove and add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir to coat.  Then add your herbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chopped asparagus, as well as any other ingredients you'd like to add to your risotto.  Stir until well blended and serve immediately with a sprinkling of chives, slivers of Parmesan cheese, or additional lemon zest.

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29 comments:

  1. You're so right...I get nervous too b/c I think Gordon Ramsey is going to come yell at me! This may inspire me to give it a go...though I wouldn't mind him in the kitchen!

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  2. This looks delicious! Risotto is annoying b/c you constantly have to stir, so thanks for sharing this method that requires less stirring!

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  3. Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness! That looks so so sooooooooo amazing! I jut have to try this!

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  4. Beautiful! I love risotto! And I think Gordon Ramsey is a bit of a.... well, just be true to yourself- and cook fearlessly! Great job with the risotto!

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  5. Chelsea, this looks so fresh and comforting!

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  6. You make it look so doable! ;) Risotto can be difficult in getting the right texture and bringing out these fantastic flavors.

    I've been working on my risotto skills lately too. I'm not a big steamed rice fan, but I adore risotto. Thank you for the inspiration and gorgeous post with all the helpful supporting images.

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  7. You did a great job with your photo demos. Making risotto can be intimidating but your recipe can definitely help. I've found excellent results from the tips that I got from Lydia Bastianich. It is very easy once you give it a try.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Joanne

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  8. Why is risotto so scary? It sounds so easy, but there s something that is very intimidating about it. I love how refreshing this recipe sounds!

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  9. This risotto looks so deliciously creamy! I love the flavors lemon and asparagus brings to Mediterranean dishes.

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  10. Looks so fresh and healthy, and it's like spring's already here from your pictures!

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  11. You always have such gorgeous photos. Seriously! I'm not a risotto person, but this does look good. Perfect as a side dish for a dinner party!

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  12. Nice!! I agree be fearless in the kitchen!

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  13. Haha, I just made an arborio rice pudding the other day. I love that grain, so pretty. Like little pearls. Yeah, at first cooking risotto seem like a dreadful chore, but once you've done it a few times, it's pretty easy. And so much fun to add whatever tickles your fancy!

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  14. I just had risotto for the first time a couple of weeks ago! Although mine was just from a box, I would love to try and make my own as well.. yours sounds delicious as does Liz's!

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  15. it looks like the real thing! super photos.

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  16. I love risotto and this looks perfect. I read somewhere that you can make risotto in a rice cooker but I have always made it the old-fashioned way.

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  17. You nailed the creamy, silky texture of the rice and the photos show this beautifully. Now I'm in a risotto state of mind!

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  18. Gordon Ramsey is the reason that I put off making risotto too! Now I can't get enough! Your pictures just made me very hungry!

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  19. I love risotto and I should definitely try this since I made it last week and stood by the stove stirring for 25 minutes! Thanks for the recipe.

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  20. What a wonderful recipe and fabulous flavour combination.
    :-) Mandy

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  21. Beautiful risotto, the lemon and asparagus is a great combo...great job!

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  22. Looks absolutely amazing! I am intimidated by risotto as well, but you have encouraged me to conquer my fears. Thanks for the post!

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  23. You have the magic touch chels! love it...and LOVE the green plates :) love you!

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  24. This looks great. I love risotto and rarely make it because of the constant stirring. Will try it very soon :) Amy

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  25. you did a wonderful job with this risotto Chelsea. It's so creamy. I love risotto, but my husband not that much and all the time I end up doing fried rice :))
    love the photos and the presentation is amazing as usual.
    thanks for sharing, hope you're having a wonderful week

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  26. yum. so light and refreshing looking.

    where did you get that nifty little measurer in the 'add lemon juice' picture? if you don't mind me asking. it looks really neat.

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  27. @Jasmine- Happy you enjoyed the post! I don't see it in this post, but in some other posts I have a lemon juicer that I got from Pampered Chef. It's amazing! It juices the lemon and measure out the liquid and strains the seeds. Let me know if that's the one you're looking for, otherwise feel free to email me if you're looking for something else! :)

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  28. Yum! This looks super fancy and yummy! We're featuring side dishes this week over at the M&T Spotlight and I'd love for you to submit this: http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

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