Real birthdays are not annual affairs. Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth.
Here’s to hoping you have a real birthday today and every day!
Morel Asparagus Risotto
8 cups strong chicken stock
3/4 pound fresh asparagus stalks, trimmed and blanched
1/2 pound fresh morels
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
2 garlic cloves minced
1 c finely diced onion
1 1/2 c Arborio (risotto) rice
2/3 c white wine
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a heavy saucepan, bring the stock to a slow, steady simmer over moderate heat. Lower the heat and maintain the simmer.
- Cut the asparagus tips to 1-inch and set aside. Cut the remaining asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Clean the morels, cut them in half or even quarters.
- Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed, broad, medium saucepan over moderately-high heat. Stir in the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, asparagus stalks and the morels and sauté for about 1 minute, or until they are well-coated with the fat. Add the rice and sauté for a few minutes to thoroughly coat the grains with the fat and are slightly toasted, do not burn.
- Deglaze with the white wine. Cook down until almost all the liquid is gone.
- Add 1 cup of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, about 5 minutes. As each addition is absorbed, continue stirring and adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, until the rice is tender but still al dente. You should begin tasting the rice after it has cooked for about 20 minutes, it could take as long as 30 minutes, depending on the age of your rice. You may or may not use all the stock. Just before the rice is ready, stir in the reserved asparagus tips, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and top w/additional cheese.