Do you ever have those days where you’re really craving two very different but delicious food items? You know that it’s a weird combination but apart they’re so delicious that you can’t resist? That’s were I was at Thursday. I had fresh asparagus I needed to use up and I was also dying for shrimp. It was an exceptionally nasty day so I figured why not make some asparagus risotto and spicy shrimp. Two comforting delicious dishes on a nasty rainy day. Awesome. I knew it wouldn’t be a match made in heaven but what can go wrong when you’re mixing your favorite preparation of two delicious food stuffs? Nuthin. They were both delish. I probably won’t mix them again but I will certainly be making them soon. The risotto was creamy and just thick enough and the shrimp was awesome. So make them. Just don’t make them together. OR DO! Its up to you.
So I think a lot of people are under the impression that risotto is really difficult to make. Guess what. It’s not! It takes about 30 minutes and some attention but other than that it’s super easay. You start off by sautéing some onions and garlic. Once they’re soft you throw in the rice and cook it dry for a few minutes with the onions and garlic. The best rice, in my opinion, is arborio rice, which is a short grained starchy italian rice. So yeah throw in your rice and let it cook for about 5 minutes with the onions and garlic, stirring it often so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan. While this is all going on be sure to be heating your stock in a separate pot. The liquids you add to your risotto need to be at least room temperature when you add them to your risotto or they will ‘shock’ your rice and affect the texture.
After you’ve dry cooked the rice for about 5 minutes it should start to get translucent. At this point its time to start adding some liquid. The thing that makes risotto creamy isn’t just cream, although you can add it sometimes, it’s the way the rice is cooked. Cooking it long and slow while gradually adding more and more liquid allows the starch in the rice grains to break down and thicken. Ta daaa creamy! So I added a quarter cup dry champagne first. I just happened to have this because someone left it at our house after a recent outing. You can use white wine, red wine, or just stock. It all depends on what you have on hand and what you want your risotto to taste like. After the champagne has cooked off add in half of your stock.
Keep an eye on your rice and stir it constantly so it doesn’t stick or burn. Once your rice has absorbed the first half of your stock its time to add in the second half. Let it cook down and be sure to taste it to check for flavor and texture. You want your rice to be soft and creamy but not mushy. I added in about four tablespoons of water at the end and let that cook down. When it’s almost there it’s time to add in your herbs and other seasonings. I added thyme, salt, and pepper. Wanted to keep it nice and simple. Your risotto is ready when its thick and creamy with some excess liquid still. We prepared our asparagus separately. Sam took care of snapping and sautéing them and then we set them aside while we cooked the risotto. Cook them till they’re soft but still a bit crunchy so you can poke them with a fork but they’re not mushy.
Asparagus aside, risotto is delicate so you need to keep an eye on it. If you add too much liquid then your risotto will get gluey. Not enough and it’ll be crunchy. So keep an eye on it and after you’ve added in your stock then only add in liquids at a tablespoon at a time. Once its ready its time to stir in your asparagus. Serve it asap so it doesn’t get cold or mushy.
While our risotto was cooking we also cooked up some chili garlic shrimp. They’re pretty simple. Remove the shell from your shrimp and make sure they’re deveined. I had some frozen razor backed shrimp so they were butterflied and deveined already. Once you’re shrimp is ready its time to warm up some olive oil and slice up some garlic. I like mine in slivers, it looks nice. After the oil is warm fry up your garlic and chili flakes.
Fry your shrimp for about four minutes or until they start getting pink. Flip them over and get excited. Shrimp are delicious and this is such an easy and delicious way to make them.
We timed it so that the shrimp were done at about the same as the risotto. The risotto was perfect. Hot and creamy with lots of tasty asparagus. The shrimp was spicy and juicy. I’m glad I gave it an made both of them. Yum yum yuuum.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tblsp olive oil
- 2/3 cups arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry champagne or white wine
- 1 cup stock, I used turkey you can use whatever you want
- 1/2 cup warm water, give or take a bit (depends on how risotto is cooking)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 5-6 Asparagus
- 3 tsp olive oil
In a small pot heat up stock to low simmer. In another pan heat up 3 tsp of olive oil. Cut asparagus into 1 inch chunks, discarding the bottom inch. Sauté the asparagus pieces in the olive oil for about 4 to 5 minutes, till the pieces are tender and can be pierced with a fork. Set aside. In a heavy bottom pot heat the 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Once oil is hot add in garlic and onions and sauté until soft. Add rice and fry for about 4-5 minutes or until rice starts to get translucent, stirring often. Add in quarter cup of champagne or wine and cook till rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid. Add in half of your stock and stir occasionally. Once rice has absorbed almost all of the stock add in rest of stock. Stir occasionally until almost all of stock has been absorbed. Add in thyme, salt, and pepper and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir and let cook down. Test rice when most of liquid as been absorbed. If rice still has some bite add in two more tablespoons of water. Stir and taste. Rice should be tender and there should be a small amount of excess liquid in your risotto. Stir in asparagus and parmesan cheese and serve warm.
Chili Garlic Shrimp
- 10 shrimp, de-shelled and deveined
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced into thin slivers
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 2 tblsp olive oil
Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot add in garlic and chili flakes and let sauté. Once garlic begins to brown add in shrimp. Cook for about 4 minutes or until shrimp are pink on one side. Flip shrimp and let cook for another 4-5 minutes. Once shrimp are pink on both sides and cooked all the way through remove from heat and serve hot.