Monday, April 11, 2011

Brown Butter and Saffron Risotto

Happy Spring! It's finally starting to feel like Spring. Flowers are blooming, it's a bit warmer (and raining every other day), my herbs are growing, and there is a bounty of wonderful looking asparagus in the grocery store. Usually, I roast asparagus, but I had been dying to try something new, something fresh tasting. I played with how I cut it and cook it, to infuse maximum freshness and flavor into this delicious and obscenely creamy risotto. By adding the asparagus at the end of the risotto process, they taste incredibly fresh, like they are just barley steamed and the vibrant green color stays and screams Spring!

Brown Butter and Safron Risotto:
4 tbsp of butter
1 boneless pork chop
1 shallot
1 cup of arborio rice
4 cups of chicken stock, hot
1 tsp of saffron
1 bunch of asparagus
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
Salt, Pepper

In a medium pot, heat the butter over low heat. When the butter is foamy, skim the solids off the top, so you are left with mostly clear butter. Raise heat to medium, and allow to bubble and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, about 5 minutes. Reserve half of the butter for later. Stir the saffron into 2 cups of stock and set asside to let steap. Season the pork chop with salt and pepper, and put in the pot. Brown on each side for about 2 minutes. Remove pork chop and set asside. Dice the shallot and add to the pot, cook 1 minute. Add the rice and toast until opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Add about 1 cup of safron infused chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently until the the liquid is almost all absoarbed. Add an additional cup of safroned stock, and repeat. Add 1 cup of regular chicken stock, and repeat. While the risotto is absoarbing, cut the ends off the asparagus and wash. Cut the tops off the aspargus (top 1/4 of the stalks), chop the bottom portion of the asparagus, or run them through the food processor slicing blade. Cut the browned pork chop into bite sized pieces. Add the final cup of stock to the rice and bring to a boil. Allow the liquid to begin absoarbing, and when it's about half gone, add stir in the asparagus (chopped ends and tips) and pork. Continue cooking until the remaining liquid is absoarbed. Remove from heat and stir in the reserved brown butter, and cheese. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.

Happy Eating.



  1. Beautiful recipe. I always think of risotto as a winter recipe but you've lightened it up perfectly for spring with the asparagus. I've been meaning to try brown butter, it's so versatile and rich.

  2. This sounds great. I too think of risotto as a comforting winter dish - but this looks oh so spring like!

  3. I've only made risotto once, but I loved it! I'll have to give this version a try if I can ever get my hands on some saffron :)

  4. This looks soooo good! I've never made risotto before but I LOVE it.

  5. I love risotto so I just know I would love this!


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