Celia, from Unraveling, has a mission in life. She is trying to spread the word about the joys of spending a whole day in your jammies. Yesterday was International Pajama Day IV, and I’m proud to say that I participated. I changed into flannel pants and a warm fleecy top and passed the whole day lounging around the house.
Celia did it in much higher style; she’s had several chances to perfect her pajama performance. Check out her blog post from yesterday for her great photos.
I spent the day reading and playing on the computer. In the evening, John cooked me a nice little spring risotto.
Here’s me helping. I’m still not allowed to handle any sharp objects.
And here’s the recipe, as best I can reconstruct it. It’s a modification based on lots of trials and several recipes. Once you figure out how to make a basic recipe, you can add whatever you find that looks good. We got all the fresh ingredients at the Farmers’ Market in Olympia this weekend. If you ever see green garlic in the market, buy it and try it. It looks like big green onions, and has a wonderful flavor. You can use it wherever you would use garlic.
We usually blanch whatever vegetable we’re going to add in the broth, and saute any raw fish or meat bits separately. That way you can add it all at the end and not have to figure out how long each part will take to cook. You can use leftover stuff in this as well. About the only thing we haven’t tried in risotto is Spam, and I suppose you could use that if you were desperate.
Some people frown on cheese in risotto with fish or seafood. I like it, so there.
Spring Risotto with Green Garlic, Asparagus, and Shrimp
2 cups arborio rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Another tablespoon butter
3 stalks green garlic, chopped; use regular garlic if you can’t find this.
Shallots, chopped, about 3 tablespoons (or leeks, if you have them)
1/2 cup white wine
6 1/2 cups broth. We used fish stock that we buy frozen, but you can use chicken or veggie.
Asparagus, cleaned and cut into 2 inch pieces. We used about a dozen or so stalks.
1 cup peas, shelled; fresh or frozen
Handful of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
3/4 pound shrimp, cleaned and shelled, tails off
Another 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. Please don’t use that stuff out of a can or the risotto gods will get their revenge eventually.
Salt & pepper
Heat the broth to just simmering and keep it there. Dump in the asparagus and cook for a few minutes to blanch them, take them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. If you’re using fresh peas, blanch those too and set aside. Put the first tablespoon of butter and the oil in a largish pot and saute the onion, garlic, and shallot till soft. In another pan, melt another tablespoon of butter and briefly saute the shrimp, just till they turn from pink to white. Turn off, and set aside.
Add the rice to the pot with the butter, garlic, shallot, and onion, and stir briefly until rice starts to look translucent at the edges. This will just take a few minutes. Add the wine and stir until liquid is almost absorbed. Now start adding your broth to the rice about a cupful at a time, stirring most of the time and watching closely. When most of the liquid from each cup is absorbed into the rice, it’s time to add the next cup of broth. As the rice gets closer to done, add the broth in smaller amounts, and taste the rice off and on to make sure you’re not getting too much liquid. You want it done but not mushy; the rice should still have a firm bite to it when you’re all done. When the rice tastes like it’s just a few minutes from being done, add the asparagus, shrimp, parsley, and peas, and keep stirring and adding more broth in small amounts till the rice is done. You may not have to use all the liquid in the pot.
When the rice tastes done, turn off the heat, add the last tablespoon of butter and the cheese, and stir in. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. This should easily feed 4 hungry people as a main course, or 6 as a side dish. Leftovers are wonderful: we form patties out of it, about the size of a big burger, and saute in a bit of butter. Yum. I’m off to find lunch.