Asparagus Shiitake Mushroom Risotto
- 3/4 lb. fresh shiitake mushroom caps
- 1 lb. small to medium sized asparagus
- 1.5 cups Arborio rice
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 cup water
First cut both the shiitake mushroom caps and asparagus into 1/4" thick slices and leave the asparagus tips at least 1 1/2" long.
Next mix the chicken broth and water in a 4 quart pot and bring it to a boil. Add the asparagus cook it until it's tender but still crispy with the pot uncovered. That usually take about 3 to 4 minutes. Next remove the asparagus but let the broth keep simmering, and put it in a large bowl with ice and cold water to chill it rapidly. Then strain it and dry it.
Now heat the olive oil with a tablespoon of the butter in a 4 quart pan over medium high heat and saute the mushrooms until they brown. You'll need to stir them from time to time. That normally takes around 4 minutes at which point you will season them with salt and pepper and put them in a bowl.
Cook your finely chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionaly, until it softens after about 3 minutes. Then add the rice and cook it together for about a minute stirring the entire time. Next add the wine and keep stirring until its absorbed after a minute or so.
Use a ladle or whatever you have available to add 1 cup of the simmering broth to the saucepan and stir it in until it too is absorbed. Repeat this process with a half cup of broth continuously until the rice is tender and creamy, after about 20 minutes.
Take it off the heat and mix in the cheese and a tablespoon of butter along with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, then cover the pan and let it sit for 1 minute. You can then thin the risotto with the remaining broth if you like.