Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Spring in the Kitchen

This morning, while waiting for the car, I wondered around the internet for a little while. After a hop here & a skip there, I wandered over to Joke's blog, Same thing, But Different. He was writing about food, and there were a couple posts, one was risotto. Hmm a spring time risotto, the perfect use for my asparagus. So I commented that I would make that for dinner. That is a major commitment for me, especially before my first conversation with my husband. (He left the house early, I only said "grrmmph, lub u, didja sayme any coffee?" before he was on his merry way.) So I swirled it around in my head to try it on and when my husband came home and we had an actual conversation, it went along these lines.

HP: Hi I'm home, did you save me any coffee?
Me: Umm, maybe. How was your appointment?
HP: Fine, nothing exciting. Not much coffee here.
Me: Yeah, well. You drank a lot before you left.
HP: I didn't think I had that much. Are you going to...
Me: Sure ya did. What do you think of Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto for dinner
HP: Wow, that sounds good.

So now I had committed. My mysterious cheese drawer was woefully empty so I made my 3rd trip to the grocery store this week. I think I'm done that for a while. Eventually I decided to make dinner. I started late, which is never a good idea, especiallly with something that requires patience like risotto. Oh well.

How Kiki cooks Risotto:
At some point, not early enough, I pulled the stock & the shrimp out of the freezer to thaw.

Some time later, I open a bottle of dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio (or pinot gris, if you prefer). Poor a large glass of said wine, sip and contemplate the mess in the kitchen. Most of it was theoretically going to be cleaned by HP, so I leave it for him.

Realize that the wine that is going into the risotto needs to be brought at least to room temp, so I search for a clean measuring cup & poor 1/2 cup in; I leave that on the stove (not on a burner) so I'm not putting something cold into my risotto (a no-no). It dawns on me that all my chicken stock is still solid ice, so put it in the microwave to thaw. I start slicing my onion (I slice, then chop) I soon realize that I have much too large of an onion, so I stop, get some butter from the fridge and start the back burner with a little butter & a little wine so I can caramelize some onions since I have them sliced. Microwave beeps, what did I put in there? Oh yeah. Check on stock, still a large stockcicle. Zap some more. Have some more wine. Start chopping shallot, decide to grab another shallot to add to the onions that are caramelizing. check on stock. Almost done, zap. Chop garlic. Decide I want this to be garlicy, so I chop some more. End up chopping 5 big cloves. Pull stock out of micro and put onto stove to get it simmering. Put butter in pan for risotto & try to check that I have everything, drink a little more wine. When butter is melted, I add the onions, saute a little, then let soften. Next I pull Asparagus out of fridge, chop; get HP to peel shrimp & grate Parm. Shallots & garlic go in w/ the onions, I splash more wine into the onions caramelizing on the back burner and everything is happy. I have another sip of wine, and I'm working on being happy as well. Into the pot goes the risotto. It gets all pretty & glossy, then next goes the wine. It smells great going in. Bit by bit the stock goes in. Stirring, & sipping the risotto gets cooked. (With occasional visits to splash the caramelizing onions with wine)
Soon it's time for the big finish, first the shrimp, next the lemon juice & the asparagus. A little cheese, and finally a few asparagus tips that I held for decoration.
Gosh that turned out pretty! I really wish I had my camera in the kitchen (One of these days I'll be that organized) The soft pink of the shrimp and the bright green of the risotto against a soft creamy risotto back ground. A very thin slice of lemon and some fresh ground pepper and a small sprinkle of cheese and it's on the table. There is just enough wine left in the bottle for HP & I to have some with dinner. ( I may have sipped many times, but I did so in moderation.)

I have to say, it tasted as good as it looked; and a good dinner was had by all!

3 garnishes:

Sarah Louise April 5, 2007 at 9:25 AM  

3x to the store? Are you nuts????

But dinner sounds lovely.

Sarah Louise April 5, 2007 at 9:26 AM  

oooh, like the copyright statement.

KitchenKiki April 5, 2007 at 3:08 PM  

Dinner was awesome. I had some for lunch today, and while it was not quite as tasty, it was still quite yummy.

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