Hot Plate Cooking ****Ham & Cheese Risotto w/ Asparagus****

photo 2-139

We lucked out and were able to move into our house a lot sooner than we had initially expected. As such, this is my final “Hot Plate Cooking” post. As much as I’ve enjoyed them, I have to say I’m relieved. So what did I make for my final hotel room meal? One of my favorite standbys for when I am short on time, or in this case space………..risotto of course!

I had some ham leftover from an earlier dinner and had planned on adding that to my risotto with a bit of parmesan cheese. But then I saw the asparagus. I love asparagus and will eat it whenever the opportunity arises. Of course, living in Albania it was impossible to find it fresh and I quickly discovered that the frozen or jarred versions are just not the same. So, with the exception of a blissful spring week in Budapest where I savored complete meals out of nothing by asparagus, I put my cravings on hold for two and a half years. Until now. So when I saw the asparagus sitting in the produce case of Carrefour, I knew I had to buy it. I think it is always good but it also pairs perfectly with the ham and cheese, resulting in a wonderful early spring (I can hope, can’t I) meal. Yum….and here’s to now having a real kitchen again!

 

HAM & CHEESE RISOTTO w/ ASPARAGUS

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, minced

1 ½ cups risotto rice

1 cup cooked ham, cut into cubes

1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces and lightly steamed

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • Meanwhile, heat the vegetable broth and white wine in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Adjust the heat to keep the broth mixture at a low simmer. Or, if you are short on burner space the way I am, heat the broth and wine mixture into a microwave safe bowl for 5 minutes or until hot.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the shallot and sauté until soft and translucent, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the rice to the onions and stir to combine.  Add one ladle of the broth to the pot and stir well.  Stirring occasionally, continue cooking the rice until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding additional broth.
  • Repeat this process until the rice is al dente.  You may not need to use all of the broth.
  • Add the ham and asparagus with the last of your broth. Fold gently to combine.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

Serves:  4

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