Asparagus Risotto with Lemon Broiled Shrimp

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Dinner tonight was utilizing one of my boyfriend’s favorite vegetables, asparagus. What’s nice about this dinner is that it can be made in about 45 minutes. It took me a bit longer as I also prepped some banana bread.

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Some old wine from the fridge, asparagus I wanted to use that was still fresh, frozen shrimp, and arborio rice from my pantry

Staying true to my project, all food was things I had on hand. Risotto is one of those foods that is very forgiving – you can almost always add more liquid and ingredients beyond the 1:3 ratio of rice to liquid.

ASPARAGUS RISOTTO WITH LEMON BROILED SHRIMP

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine or minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cups water, broth, and/or wine (I used 1 cup wine and two cups water, plus bouillon packets)
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (set aside zest and about 1/4 of juice)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped in bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Shrimp, thawed and trimmed – about 3 ounces per serving
  • Olive oil, as needed

Melt butter and heat oil over medium to high heat in a large saute pan. Add onions and garlic, sweat until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add rice and saute another minute. Stir in liquid and 3/4 of lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to a simmer and cover pan. Cook the rice until tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If rice mixture feels too thick and difficult to stir, add a bit more liquid, ideally water or broth. Stir in asparagus and cook until it starts to soften but not totally tender (asparagus will continue to cook when rice is removed from heat) – about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cheeses and half the lemon zest and blend until cream cheese is fully incorporated.

Meanwhile, lay the shrimp on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush the shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. When you’re ready to serve, broil on high about 5 minutes, flipping the shrimp about halfway through cooking. Remove from broiler and pour remaining lemon juice over the shrimp.

To serve, scoop about a cup to a cup and a half of risotto into a bowl, arrange a few shrimp on top.

TIP – Risotto can be leftover and reheated. Ideally, make shrimp when you are ready to eat.

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Baked Potato Soup 



With winter coming to a close (hopefully) I decided to give baked potato soup a whirl. Whenever I go to Houlihan’s it is my favorite soup to order but for some reason I never thought to make it.

I looked up some recipes but I was not totally sold on anyone in particular so I modified and came up with my own.

In all honestly I needed an excuse to use the grill press that I bought as my first employee purchase from Sur La Table.



To make the soup I cooked about 11 slices of thick cut applewood smoked bacon and I reserved about a quarter cup of the bacon grease. I chopped one small yellow onion and threw in some garlic, seasoning the mixture with salt-and-pepper. After the onions got soft I added a few tablespoons of flour and started to create a roux. 

I then added 32 ounces of chicken broth and six chopped and peeled russet potatoes. I let the mixture boil then simmer about half an hour until the potatoes were soft. I then added a cup of warm milk (I was scared cold milk would curdle) and adjusted the seasonings. The soup definitely needed more salt because I forgot how much the potatoes absorb. I also added about a cup of chopped scallions and then my crumbled bacon which I had reserved on the side. That was pretty much it and it was really only about an hour for the whole process.

To serve I just added a little bit more scallion and shredded cheddar. So yummy and boyfriend approved. ☺️