Thursday, July 1, 2010

risotto & shrimps

I made dinner for James, Anita and Amy Saturday night. I wish I had people to cook for every night. In my next life? And never ending free groceries? Yes. Risotto from scratch is not as hard as everyone makes it out to be, you just have to be patient.

Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto

6 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups Arborio rice
3 cups baby bella mushrooms
1 bunch of asparagus, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


In a medium saucepan with a lid, combine chicken broth and white wine and heat just to simmering. Keep warm.

Saute mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sauce pan with salt and pepper until browned and soft. Turn off the heat.

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining butter. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges. Be careful not to allow the grains or the onions to brown.

Reduce the heat to low. Add enough of the wine and chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice. Stir or move the pan often, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice. Once absorbed, add another amount of liquid just to cover the rice and continue stirring or moving as before. There should be just enough liquid left to repeat 1 more time. It should take approximately 35 to 40 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed. After the last addition of liquid has been mostly absorbed, add the mushrooms and asparagus and stir until risotto is creamy and asparagus is heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 cloves garlic, miced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, less if you can't man up
1.5 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled
2 teaspoons grill or bbq seasoning blend
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 handful chopped parsley

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, lemon zest and red pepper flakes. When onions are translucent add shrimp. Season with grill seasoning or salt and pepper and cook shrimp 3 minutes or until just pink. Toss with lemon juice and chopped parsley. Eat.

In other news, I can now poach an egg with no problem. Not an easy feat. This was Saturday morning breakfast. Solo. I love waking up to an empty house, making coffee and taking in the placid silence of the morning. I made myself ham, havarti and poached egg on toast with arugula and roasted tomatoes (from my Dad's garden, yum!) with parmesan shavings.

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