We’ve already agreed that I’m a slow learner. Particularly when it comes to the kitchen.
So you will not be surprised to learn that it was only over the weekend that I finally discovered the fun of making risotto.
Saturday night, I made wild mushroom risotto. Sunday night, I made it with asparagus and stirred in the leftovers from Saturday night.
I always thought that risotto was especially mysterious and effortful. But it’s dead easy — just lots of stirring.
Kayso, here’s how to make the asparagus kind, which was much better than the mushroom kind.
You need asparagus, olive oil, soy sauce, onion, arborio rice, white wine, Parmesan cheese, and 6 cups of liquid.
Take some asparagus. Enough for however many people you have as a side dish. Break off the woody ends — you know how to do that, right? You just hold the tip in one hand and the very end in the other and bend it. It breaks off at the border between woody and tasty — and slice into inch-ish pieces. Put some olive oil in a very big skillet and stirte the asparagus; add a generous dash of soy sauce after a couple of minutes. Stirte until the asparagus is bright green and starting to get tender, then put it in a bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, put your chosen liquid in a saucepan and turn up the heat to bring it to a boil, then let it simmer. Choose whatever liquid you want the risotto to taste like. Vegetable broth, chicken broth, I guess beef broth if you eat beef. Here’s an important tip: Use low-salt broth. You’ll be super sorry if you don’t.
Don’t clean the skillet. Add a little bit of olive oil and 1/2 cup or so of finely chopped onion. Stirte until it’s starting to get translucent–twotythree minutes. Then add a generous cup of arborio rice and stirte until the ends of the rice grains are translucent, another minute.
Add 1/2 c. of white wine and stirte until it’s all absorbed into the rice.
Now starting adding the liquid in 3/4 cup aliquots. Aliquots is a word from chemistry or maybe nursing and it means portions of a liquid. OK, I just looked it up and it doesn’t exactly mean that, but let’s pretend it does.
Add an aliquot and stir until it’s almost absorbed. Meaning you can separate the rice without it oozing back into one gooey pile, but it doesn’t make a sizzling the-liquid-is-all-gone noise.
Do it again. Each aliquot will take twotythree minutes to be semi-absorbed. If it takes longer, turn the heat up some more.
After about ten minutes, you’re halfway done, so be strong and persevere with the stirring.
Aliquot on for another seven or eight minutes. You should be getting to the bottom of your pan of liquid. Check the texture of the rice. It should be just slightly crunchy, indicating you’re within an aliquot or so of being done.
When the very last one is in the pan, let it absorb almost completely. Stir in the asparagus so it’s in there just long enough to heat through without cooking more. Turn off the heat and stir in about 1/2 c of grated Parmesan. Let your conscience be your guide here–I love me some P cheese so I use a whole 1/2 cup.
Put on a plate and eat it up. Amaze yourself.