I once dated a guy who made me risotto for dinner. It was a horrifically long process, totaling about three or four hours. Plus, he didn't have anything to read in his apartment and it was like, the second date so we were forced to make boring small talk for the duration. It was then that I decided to never cook anything that took longer than an episode of
Maury or date a guy who doesn't own a single coffee table book. This week saw the thrilling Risotto Challenge at Jimmy's No.43, so I figured since it's cool now, I should give the dish another chance. Bonus: I happened to have some Hadley asparagus in the fridge that my parents brought me from Massachusetts (if you haven't had Hadley asparagus, you haven't had asparagus. Photos by Brian Van Nieuwenhoven
Risotto with Asparagus and Shrimp
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• Fish stock, but apparently nobody in Williamsburg sells fish stock because you're being punished for moving out of Manhattan. Just get chicken broth
• 3/4 pound asparagus, preferably purchased from a roadside stand in Hadley, Massachusetts by your mommy
• Arborio rice
• 1 small onion (all the onions look pretty big, but maybe it's relative. Like, this onion looks pretty small relative to this head of cabbage or this bodega cat)
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. Yeah, like I'm going to buy unsalted butter just for this recipe and then never use it again
• 3/4 pound cooked shrimp (you could cook it yourself, but...no)
• Parmesan cheese. Not the kind in the Kraft shaker
• White wine
1. Get home from the grocery store and realize you didn't pay for the gelato separately, so it's on the same receipt as the other groceries you were going to expense for this meal. Will the magazine pay for your gelato? Eat some gelato while you think about that.
2. Pour 3 cups broth and 2 cups water into a medium saucepan. It's the one you make macaroni and cheese in. Bring to a simmer, which I think means steaming but not bubbling.
3. Put the asparagus in. Whoops, it's too long and won't fit in the pot, take it all out and cut it in half. Put it back and let simmer for 4-ish minutes.
4. Transfer asparagus to an ice bath? What is that? Just ice water? Ugh, climb on the counter to reach the popcorn bowl and put some ice water it.
5. Chop the onion into teeny pieces and cook it in 2 tablespoons salted butter.
6. Is this unsalted butter business really making a dietary difference anyway? If you could put butter on everything you would. Same for sour cream. Don't you wish this recipe called for sour cream?
7. Once onion has softened, add rice and stir.
8. Add 1/4 cup white wine; drink 1/2 cup from the bottle.
9. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time and stir until absorbed by the rice.
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10. Keep stirring.
11. No, you can't just leave it and go watch Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?
12. Oh, look how thick Tori Spelling is. This was definitely filmed before she had those ribs removed.
13. Seriously, keep stirring.
14. Is this what it's like to be a housewife? Just one long risotto stir?
15. Holy Donna Martin, the broth has finally all been absorbed.
16. Add the shrimp. Wait, pull off the tails and veins first.
17. You know what the veins really are, right? They're the shrimp's poopy. I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere.
18. Add the asparagus too.
19. Zest a lemon and grate some parmesan over it all.
20. Add some more butter because why not, you're twenty-two and you have the metabolism of a Great Dane.
21. Like it? Good, you're going to be eating the leftovers for the next five days.
The real recipe
Lemony Risotto With Shrimp and Asparagus [Epicurious