Oh yes I did! I thought to myself, I wonder if the Italians and the French get along. You know, food wise. Risotto is a favorite in our house, and truthfully so is brie. However, I’ve never before tried to combine the two. Well boy was I missing out. Brie makes the creamiest most decadent risotto you have ever tasted. A diet buster? For sure. Just don’t eat it every day and you’ll be fine. You deserve it. Maybe you should make this for yourself for Mother’s Day, and send everyone else away so you can eat your rich and decadent food in peace. (am I the only one with this Mother’s Day fantasy?)
Asparagus Brie Risotto
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and 1″pieces
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock
2 cups water
1/2 pound +/- of herb brie, rind removed
salt and pepper to taste
Prep the asparagus. I break the end off the asparagus where it naturally breaks, and discard the very bottom. Dice the remainder of the asparagus about 1-2 inches long. Simmer the broth and water in a pot behind the risotto pot.
In a larger pot melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Use more olive oil if your onion was large. Saute the onion until it is translucent. 4-5 minutes. Add the rice and saute until you see a brighter white center appear in the grain. 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and saute until the alcohol smell dissipates. About a minute.
Add stock one ladleful at a time and stir until the stock is absorbed. My test for when to add more stock is running my spoon down the middle. If we parted the risotto sea, meaning there is a moat that the rice does not instantly flood, it is time to add more stock. Stir, stir and then stir some more. You don’t have to be chained to the stove during the process. I always prepare my sides while I stir, just making sure to give the risotto a few good stirs every minute or so. It usually takes 15 minutes of stirring and adding stock for the risotto to get to al dente. At 15 minutes taste a few grains, you want a touch of firmness in the center with no raw taste to it.
When you have achieved al dente status, add one more ladle of stock and then toss the asparagus and stir. Cover and let the asparagus cook for 4-6 minutes. Taste for doneness. I like my asparagus with a touch of bite still, not mushy.
Remove the rind from the brie and cut it into cubes while the asparagus is cooking. I used about 1/2 pound, which is what was left of a giant wedge of brie from Costco. (have I told you my kids demand a cheese plate for after school snack? As in at least 3 cheeses, apple wedges, crackers and baguette. I have created monsters!) When you have reached the tenderness you seek in the asparagus, stir in the brie. You will probably also need a ladle of stock at this time if the risotto feels dry. Stir until the brie is incorporated.
Taste for salt, I added a teaspoon but had low sodium stock, add freshly cracked black pepper if you like, and plate it up. Then devour it with a nice glass of wine, crusty bread and a very large arugula salad
A votre santé!