Risotto is great for beach trip

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This past holiday season was a new experience for me. On neither Thanksgiving nor Christmas were all three of my children and their spouses able to be with me at one time. I can honestly say that I was pretty sure I would be fine with it, and we would celebrate at different times. Now I can tell you that I was wrong, it was a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.

But, after realizing how hectic the holidays are and how much travel it is for everyone, we came up with what I think is the perfect solution. All three of my children, their spouses and I are going to the beach for a week together this summer. I couldn’t be happier! It’s a whole week of relaxing instead of rushing around.

So for the last three months I’ve been pulling together recipes to take with us, some for breakfast, some for dinners and plenty of new beverages. While we will go out to dinner a couple of times, there is nothing I like better than to cook for all my children at one time. Here is one of the recipes that I found, and I’m glad to report it passed the taste test and is definitely going on the Hall/Aldredge beach trip.

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I absolutely love risotto. We will serve this with a fresh salad and French bread for an easy dinner one night followed by watermelon for dessert.


Risotto with shrimp

and asparagus

1 pound asparagus (not the really thin spears)

1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, rinsed and sprinkled with a little Tony’s seasoning

1/2 white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

3 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 cup arborio rice

1 cup chardonnay wine

4 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove the woody part of the stems from the asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. Spread out on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes.

While cooking the asparagus, place the chicken stock in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer, don’t boil and keep it on low.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp to pan and sauté until shrimp is pink. Remove from pan, place on a plate and cover with a paper towel to keep warm. The paper towel helps reduce sweating too. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic to the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes just until onion is translucent.

Add the rice to pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add wine and stir continuously, this part is important, stirring the rice helps make it creamier. Cook until wine is almost completely absorbed. Begin adding chicken stock, 1 or 2 ladles at a time, stirring continuously, letting liquid almost completely absorb before adding more stock.

Once all of the stock has been absorbed, stir in the parsley, asparagus, shrimp, parmesan and butter. Taste for seasoning and serve with extra parmesan cheese on the side.


Christina Hall writes a food column for The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at christina.hall@natchezdemocrat.com.