Monday, May 3, 2010

Recipe Of The Day: Champagne Risotto

Risotto is a tradition rice dish served in Italy. Usually cooked in a rich broth and containing great ingredients such as parmesan cheese, meats, fish or vegetables this dish is a sure fire hit that will steal the show from whatever main entree your serving it alongside. The name literally translates to little rice and is the most common way of cooking rice in Italy.
This version we have kicked it up a little with the help of some good champagne which only helps to add to final creamy texture you should hopefully be awarded with. Be careful as over cooking, over stirring and not adding the broth when needed will ruin this dishes flavors and textures.
4 thin slices prosciutto
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
12 asparagus spears (cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces)
2 TBS butter (divided)
1 shallot (finely diced)
¾ cup Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
¾ cup Champagne
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
¼ tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the slices of prosciutto on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake until the prosciutto slices are almost completely crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes.
The slices will crisp up even more as they cool. 
Reserve for garnish.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer.
Blanch the asparagus in the chicken stock for 2 minutes.
Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon. 
Set the asparagus aside and keep the chicken stock at a low simmer.
In another medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat in the butter.
Continue toasting the rice, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes more.
Add the Champagne and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.
Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the asparagus, remaining butter, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
Spoon the risotto into serving dishes and garnish by breaking the crisp prosciutto into smaller pieces over the top of the risotto.
Serve immediately.

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