Risotto dates back all the way to the 14th century B.C. but is still an iconic Italian dish. It is typically served as either an appetizer or a main dish, and consists primarily of four main components: vegetables, broth, flavoring, and Italian rice.
Because it is such a classic and iconic dish, it’s important to add a twist to it if you want it to stand out. This New Year, consider making champagne risotto! It takes this classic dish and adds a modern, elegant twist to it.
This champagne risotto recipe from Food Network takes about an hour, and requires an intermediate level of experience cooking. If you consider yourself more of a novice, give yourself plenty of time (much more than an hour) and take things slowly. This is also a recipe to serve two, which is perfect for an intimate dinner, side dish, or as an appetizer. If you are cooking for more, consider doubling the recipe (and adjusting the cooking times accordingly).
- 3 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium for a healthier alternative)
- 12 stalks of asparagus
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 shallot
- ¾ cup medium grain white rice
- ¾ cup champagne
- ¼ cup grated parmesan (freshly grated if possible)
- Dash of salt & pepper
- 4 slices of prosciutto
Prepare the Ingredients
To prepare the ingredients for cooking, first take the 12 stalks of asparagus and cut them at a diagonal, into approximate 1-inch pieces. Next, prepare the shallot by finely mincing it.
Blanch the Asparagus
Take a medium sized pot (a bigger pot will be needed if you’re increasing the recipe), and pour in the chicken broth. Set the flame on the stove to medium, and bring the chicken broth to a boil. Once you get it boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Next, you’re going to blanch the asparagus in this chicken broth for about two minutes. If you’re unfamiliar with blanching, here’s a great article to teach you more. Take the asparagus out, and then leave the chicken broth on a low simmer. Just set the asparagus aside for now. Now, preheat the oven for 450 degrees.
Get the Sauce Going
Grab another medium-sized pot (adjust accordingly) and melt half of the butter in it. Add the minced shallot and let it cook in the butter for about three minutes or until the pieces become translucent. Mix the rice in, making sure to coat it in the butter! Stir for about three minutes, and then add in the champagne slowly, stirring as you go. Stir sporadically for the next three minutes or until the champagne has evaporated. Next, take about ½ a cup of the broth from the other pot you have on the stove and add it to the mix. It should be absorbed in about two minutes; once it is, add another ½ cup of broth. Keep doing this for about 15-20 minutes.
Prepare the Prosciutto
The oven should be preheated by now. As you continue to add in broth and have it absorbed by the rice, get the prosciutto garnish ready. Put the prosciutto slices on a lightly greased baking sheet and put into the oven for about six minutes, where they will crisp up nicely.
Time to Serve!
After 20 minutes of absorbing the continually-added broth, the risotto is ready. Remove it from the heat, and stir in the last tablespoon of butter, a dash of salt and pepper, and the grated cheese. Take the asparagus from where you’ve set them and stir those in, too! Scoop risotto into serving dishes, and then crumble the crispy prosciutto over the top of the dish for one last delicious touch. Serve with whatever champagne you have remaining, and enjoy!