Monday, September 29, 2008

Brie and Asparagus Risotto

The Washington Post Food had a contest for original recipes. The winner was a pasta dish with tomato sauce and brie cheese. A light bulb went off in my head and I started making all kinds of dishes with brie. We love brie cheese - I think it's my husband's favorite cheese - but most of the time we eat brie with fig preserve or hot pepper jelly and bread. I made my own pasta with tomato sauce and brie - which was quite different from the winner recipe - and it was delicious. One of these evenings I was in the mood for risotto and I came up with this recipe. It turned out great. I served with breaded shrimp and white wine.

Brie Cheese and Asparagus Risotto

1 pound asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces (I used frozen)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, peeled, trimmed and minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 to 8 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups Arborio rice
6 ounces brie cheese, cubed

Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot and reduce to a simmer. Add frozen asparagus pieces.

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat; add the olive oil and butter. Stir in onion and shallots. Saute until it is translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Add the rice and stir until it is thoroughly heated. Add the white wine and bring everything to a boil while stirring constantly. Stir until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice.

Using a 6-ounce ladle, add the simmering stock into the rice one ladle at a time, stir the rice constantly while adding the stock. Add more stock as the rice absorbs the liquid.

The grains should be silky and slide easily over one another when a spoon is drawn through. If this is not the case, add a little more stock to loosen them up. The rice should have enough liquid so that the texture is creamy. If the rice is not cooked enough the texture will be starchy and crunchy. Add more liquid until it reaches the texture you desire. Add 2/3 of the cubed brie cheese and stir.

Garnish with the remaing brie cheese. Serve immediately.


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