As promised, we’re following up on our homemade stock post with a recipe that calls for said stock.
Except we didn’t end up actually following the recipe, so we’re instead going to try to remember exactly what we did, and tell you that instead.
Step One: We put a splash of olive oil into a large pan on medium heat. Tossed in two cloves of minced garlic and sauteed for a couple of minutes.
Step Two: Once the kitchen smelled nice and garlicky, we poured two cups of our homemade vegetable broth/stock into the pan. We turned the heat up to medium-high.
Step Three: We added in one cup of uncooked arborio rice, stirring it into the broth and garlic. Continued to let it cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes.
Step Four: Tossed in roughly two cups of chopped mushrooms (any kind is fine, whatever flavours you like). Added a dash of sea salt, some ground black pepper, and a few splashes of white wine. Continued to cook, stirring frequently, for another few minutes, until the liquid was mostly absorbed (the risotto should be thick and creamy looking at this point, but not runny).
Step Five: Lowered the heat to medium-low, and tossed in some chopped asparagus (bite-size pieces). Stirred it all together and cooked for a couple more minutes, until the asparagus was lightly cooked (note: if you like really soft asparagus, you probably want to add it in a bit earlier, before all the liquid in the risotto is totally absorbed – we like ours crispy so we added it late in the game).
Step Six: Removed the pan from the heat. Stirred in two tablespoons of low-fat cream cheese, a tablespoon of parmesan, and roughly half a cup of vegetable broth, and stirred it all together until nice and creamy.
This makes a tasty, but mild main course or side dish. If you like more bite to your food, feel free to spice up the recipe with more garlic, some red pepper flakes, or other flavourful additions like chopped peppers, onions, etc. You can also swap out the cream cheese and replace it with a richer cheese such as gruyere – but the goal here was to be economical :) Because we keep things like garlic, olive oil, arborio rice, stock, salt, pepper, and parmesan on hand (most of which we buy in bulk) the only added expense was one bunch of asparagus (on sale for $1.99, and we only used half, so the rest will go to another meal), about $1.00 worth of mushrooms, and one package of cream cheese (and we only used about $0.50 worth, we’ll save the rest for other meals). The quantities above made enough risotto to feed both of us for dinner (as the main course) and created enough leftovers for both of us for lunch.
After dinner, I decided to unwind with my new banjo. More on that (the banjo) later!