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From: Sassy (
Subject: Elote, re: Lemon-Scented Aparagus Risotto
Date: April 11, 2003 at 2:33 am PST

As I mentioned in a message below, close to a year ago, you emailed me an adapted copy of Lorna J. Sass' Lemon-Scented Aparagus Risotto. I shelved it because I didn't have a pressure cooker. Now that I do, I bought all the ingredients to make it and pulled it out again.

First, I must say, that having made risotto on the stovetop, I know how much time it takes. Your adapted recipe made a delicously creamy risotto with very little time and effort. And that is great for me, as having developed bone spurs, I am NOT going to stand on my feet and stir rice on the stovetop for 20 to 40 minutes. So, I enjoyed risotto, with no pain.

Second, my children do not like mushrooms, but I tried them anyway. I've never used dried mushrooms before, but since everyone seems to rave about shiitake mushrooms, that is the variety I chose. My kids picked them out and called them leeches. I wasn't that crazy about them. I think regular button mushrooms would have sufficed or omitting the mushrooms entirely, as you did, would be okay too.

Third, the fennel seeds were an interesting seasoning. I could live without that though.

Fourth, I would have been happy without the lemon zest and juice, but I could go either way. Maybe I needed to add more lemon juice to make a difference.

In conclusion, I think this recipe was very tasty and could be enjoyed plain and simple as a risotto cooked in broth and then stirring in the barely sauteed asparagus just before serving. (Note: I always cut my asparagus in small pieces on the bias and then saute them quickly in just a little broth. The flavor is so tasty! I stop cooking while it is still crunchy, as it continues to cook after removing from the pan. I love bright green, barely cooked, crispy asparagus. Adding it to the warm risotto will continue to cook it further, as well as sitting waiting for the risotto to finish, so I'm going to be careful how long the asparagus is cooked.) I used the entire 4 cups of broth and loved the near soupiness of the risotto. It definitely was absorbed after sitting just a little.

I find it odd that I would elect to omit some of the ingredients, as I am one who generally is thinking food is too bland (zesty Arizona girl that I am). I just think the dish is good enough to simplify.

I'm anxious to use this recipe as a base for a Dr. Dean Ornish risotto recipe I have that uses white corn and diced red bell pepper stirred in at the end. It is such an attractive dish and now I can finally enjoy it without my feet suffering in agony for the time spent at the stovetop. Maybe adding the bright green of the asparagus to that Ornish recipe might make it even more appealing. Hmmmm....

Anyway, thanks for sharing! I now have a basic recipe that I can do all kinds of things with. Do you know if arborio rice comes in brown, whole grain variety? That might be a good thing. Also, can other rice produce the same creaminess or is it just arborio?

Sassy (Your fellow Macayo's Restaurant fan)

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