I was meant to finish posting this a few days ago but was distracted with other things in particular in doing the ground work for moving to my new domain. And today I have finally made it. Maybe you do not notice by my previous blog address has automatically directed you to my new blog home. I have changed the blog name slightly as Gourmet Traveller 88 and also if you see up there I have changed my tagline too. This is just the first stage of the moveover, there is still a lot to do behind the scene. A lot of hardwork but it is fun to be able to learn new things at the same time.
Last Wednesday was my hubby’s birthday, I wanted to make something special for him and coindentally I saw the 3 ingredients chosen by the previous month winner of the Royal Foodie Joust, 5 Star Foodie are: asparagus, lemongrass and almond. My hubby likes asparagus and almond. When I found that it is quite tricky to put these three ingredients together but it’s fun to be a little creative to come up with something new.
The day before Peter’s birthday, he was supposed to fly to UK but en route there was a serious car accident which made him missing the flight so I offered to cook his birthday dinner for him a little early. I came up with Baked fish filet with coriander, mint, lemongrass and almond crust and baked asparagus. The food tasted very nice but the picture was not satisfactory. So the following day I came up to a Plan B and he earned an extra Birthday lunch. We both found this risotto was very special with a tint of lemongrass taste but did not feeI heavy at all. I like the presentation of this dish more so here is my submission:
An Unordinary Asparagus Bacon Risotto
- 16 spears asparagus
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup Korean Sweet Rice
- 3/4 cup Arborio risotto
- 100g smoked bacon diced
- 2 sprigs coriander, finely chopped the leaves
- 5-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small glass of white wine (about 150
- 4 tbsp ground almond
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 50g unsalted butter
- 8 sticks of lemongrass (only the outer layers are used in the stock, the inner most tender stalks were used for the almond crust last night)
- 2 stalks from the mint
- 2 tsp chicken bouillion powder
- 800ml water
Step 1-5 can be prepared in a few hours before cooking:
- Soak the Korean Sweet rice in a bowl of hot water.
- Prepare the lemongrass stock by simmering the lemongrass stalks and mint stalks in a pan for an hour. When this is cooked, discard the stalks, use a sieve to transfer to another pan, if necessary. Dissolve the chicken boillion powder in the stock, bring to boil and then turn off the heat and set aside.
- Prepare the lemon butter by squeezing the lemon juice to a saucepan, pour 1/2 cup of the prepared stock into the pan, bring to boil and then at medium high heat, reduce the liquid to about half. Turn to low heat at this time and melt in the butter in two portions. Swirl or stir constantly until melt without burning the butter. Season with a little ground salt and pepper. Pour to a sauce pourer or small bowl and set aside.
- Trim the asparagus, cut the tips (about 6-7cm) and leave aside. Cut the rest of them into small pieces. (half of the asparagus stems was saved for making asparagus soup)
- Finely chop the coriander and mint leaves.
- Heat up a large pan, add in the smoked bacon dices (no need to use oil) and stir fry them until they are cooked. Transfer this to a bowl and set aside.
- Turn to medium heat, add in 1 tbsp of the lemon butter into the pan and a little olive oil into the pan. Add in the chopped garlic and then the asparagus tips and followed by the rest of the small pieces. Stir fry them for a few minutes until they are cooked and crunchy. Separate the tips and the small pieces into 2 bowls. Set aside.
- Clean and dry the pan, heat up again at medium high heat and add in 1 tbsp of lemon butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil, the reason why I mix with a little olive oil is because it makes the butter less easy to burn I find. Add in the onion, stir and let it sweat for 1 minute of so, then add in the Korean Sweet rice (discard the soaking water) and Arborio risotto. Stir to mix together with the onion. Stir for another minute or so at medium high heat.
- Pour in the white wine, turn to high heat let it boil or bubble for one and a half minute. Keep stiring.
- Add in the lemongrass stock bit by bit, keep stiring until the risotto becomes al dente. We like it a little bit more than al dente. Add in the chopped coriander and mint leaves in the end, stir to mix.
- Place the asparagus spears on the plate sides, when the risotto is ready, pour to the plates, place the bacon on top of the risotto and lastly sprinkle the ground almonds on top. This is used in place of the parmesan cheese we normally used.
Enjoy and vote for me in the Forum!