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Friday, April 10, 2009

The Sweet Sounds of Risotto

Ryan and I have started playing music together. After nearly three years of living with the dude, this is a task we've never been able to work together on. Growing up in formal, private piano lessons really gives me a leg up on understanding music theory. I can read music and I sort of understand why it sounds good but asking me to write something is tough. Ryan, on the other hand, plays the guitar but has never had a private lesson. He's always played simply because he loves playing. I love playing too, but nowhere to his level. His pure passion for music is sort of overwhelming at times because he gets frustrated with me for not being able to "feel" the music like he can. I suspect feelings like that aren't something everyone can understand. True passion is a capability and I simply don't care enough.

Anyway, we've decided to stop watching so much TV and start using the gifts we both have to learn from one another and hopefully make some cool music together. It tests both of our patience but we manage. All I know is that he's easier to deal with when we've both eaten something decent. Tonight, I'm trying a new recipe: Asparagus-Leek Risotto.

3/4 cup asparagus spears, trimmed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cup sliced leeks
1 cup Arborio rice (if you can't find it, any short grain rice will do)
3 cups chicken broth (preferably reduced sodium)
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
ground black pepper
lemon slices
lemon peel

1. Place asparagus in single layer on baking sheet. Brush with half the oi; lightly sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake, uncovered, in 450 degree oven about 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Cool slightly, cut in 2-inch pieces, set aside.

2. In a large saucepan cook leeks in remaining oil until tender. Stir in oncooked rice. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until rice begins to turn golden brown.

3. In another saucepan bring broth to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer. Carefully stir 1 cup of hot broth into rice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Then add 1/2 cup broth at a time, stirring frequently until brother is absorbed before adding more. (This will take about 20-25 minutes).

4. Cook until rice is tender and creamy. Stir in asparagus pieces, cheese, parsley, lemon peel, lemon juice and pepper. Garnish with lemon slices and peel.