So, basically my life is crazy. I thought studying for the bar was hard but still I found time to post and tweet and facebook etc. during that frantic time. Now, life seems even crazier. My caseload is huge and my retail job which started at 10-12 hrs has been bumped up to about 25-35 hrs per week…. totally not complaining because (a) I love it, (b) I love the people who work there, and (c) I could most certainly use the money! But with all that combined and snowballing I have had much less time to devote to my favorite outlet– OinK (that’s my cheeky name for Order in the Kitchen and YES I know I left out the “the” but come on? OinK? Can’t get better than that for a food blog nickname… it just screams “I love to stuff my face”.
So anywayy, as some of you probably know I love Top Chef. Love may be an understatement as I am mildly obsessed with it. So I was watching it the other night and a contestant was making risotto (and got sent home for not having it plated in time (tear)). And the judges kept talking about how risotto was a make it or break it dish on the show because there have been so many times it has gone horribly wrong. Naturally, this caused me to want to make risotto even though I have been trying to watch my weight and risotto is on the bottom of the list of things I should be eating. That’s neither here nor there. So I decided to make some risotto, only to find out that I didn’t have anything I needed to make it except arborio rice. I improvised. It worked (sort of). By sort of, I mean that I would certainly suggest doing it differently, change it up a bit, and I’ll tell you how I would do that.
Here’s what I had to work with:
The Elements for my experiment*:
2 cups Arborio Rice
2 cups beef broth
4 cups vegetable broth
6 oz asparagus, roughly chopped
2 shallots, chopped or diced
1 cup sauvignon blanc
4 tbsp. butter
2 oz. asiago cheese (shredded)
Zest from 1/2 or 1 lemon (I only had half)
salt and pepper to taste
*This is what I had in my kitchen–see the Verdict for changes I would make*
Heat the broth in a small/medium sauce pan and keep warm
Melt the butter in a large saute pan and add in the shallots
After about a minute, add the arborio rice and saute for another minute
Add 3 cups of the broth and stir until the broth is absorbed
Add the rest of the broth, cup by cup, waiting for each cup to be absorbed before adding the next
Before adding the last cup, add in the asparagus and then the last cup
Stir until absorbed and then season with salt and pepper
Add the zest and the cheese and stir until combined
This was actually much more tasty than I was expecting. I was expecting it to be a total flop/disaster. I would definitely use chicken broth next time, I just didn’t have any (which is actually shocking because I usually have a few open boxes in my fridge taking up way too much real estate in there). If I had prosciutto in my fridge I would have certainly added that and I would highly recommend doing so. You could use onion instead of shallots, peas instead of asparagus, etc. The possibilities with risotto are endless so have fun with it!