A couple days ago, I was watching “Seinfeld” and it was the episode where George’s lady friend gets, er, satisfaction from eating risotto. You remember, “I feel full after eating the risotto?” No? Yes? Anyways, for some odd reason, I started craving risotto. The last time I had this dish was a few months ago at a really nice Italian restaurant up in DC.
Now, I know what some of us are thinking-“I eat rice everyday, why should I get excited over more rice?”. I have the answer for that…because. It’s delicious! This rice dish isn’t just any rice dish. This dish is soooo creamy yet the rice still has a bite to it. Plus, when you throw in mushrooms, it adds that earthiness and the asparagus just adds that little sweetness. The “bam” part of it is at the end with the chives and parmesan-oh, my mouth is watering just thinking of it.
I know some people are intimidated with making this dish but fear not because it’s not that difficult at all. Time consuming, yes, but difficult, no. Yes, it is time consuming since you’re pretty much standing over the stove, adding stock little by little with constant stir but trust me, it’s worth it.
The key thing with this dish is you cannot rush it. Don’t try to add so much broth or stock at once and think you can get it done in half the time because it won’t work. Be sure to only add stock or broth a ladleful at a time and only add it once the rice absorbs the liquid. This whole process will take you about 25-30 minutes..yes, I’m serious.
The only downside to this dish was that I had no garlic to add to it..boo. I ended up using garlic powder to it but I’ll be adding the amount in the ingredients below.
Ps. I did, kind of/sort of, made this dish just a bit spicy. Surprise surprise :p. However, it wasn’t spicy in a way that I make my curry dishes-it was more like a warmth that I felt in my throat. Obviously, this dish tastes great without the heat but if you feel like being a bit “adventurous”, go for it! Er, well, I wouldn’t call it adventurous since it was just a couple dashes of cayenne and lots of black pepper. Adding a habanero into this, now that’s adventurous…and stupid.
- 1.5 cups arborio rice
- 4-5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth), gently simmering in a pot
- 1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup mushrooms (baby bella or white), finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 white onion, diced finely
- 2/3 cup white wine. I used pinot grigio for this dish.
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper, to taste, optional
- 1.5 tsp olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp chives, chopped plus extra for garnish
- Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (use the good kind, not the canned)
- In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the asparagus. Cook for 4-5 minutes and drain. Run cold water through it to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a nonstick pot or pan, heat up butter and oil on medium heat
- Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add the mushrooms, sprinkle some salt, and mix. The salt will cause the mushrooms to release liquid. Cook until the liquid evaporates, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the rice, mix to combine and toast for about 2 minutes.
- Add the white wine, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the wine almost evaporates.
- Once evaporated, add about 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring almost constantly until the rice absorbs the liquid. This part is crucial and you should not rush it. Add 1/2 cup, stir, once the rice absorbs the liquid, add another 1/2 cup, etc. This whole process should take you about 25-30 minutes.
- About 15 minutes into adding the broth, add the asparagus and mix to combine. Continue to add broth and stir afterwards.
- Once the rice is cooked, add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to your liking and turn off the stove.
- Sprinkle in the chives and mix well.
- Serve immediately with extra chives and parmesan cheese!