My husband and I are going through Top Chef withdrawals. We finished Season Ten with gusto and no sooner had the credits rolled that it dawned on us that we were out of Sunday night viewing material. See – this is what we do. Sunday nights are carved out for him and I on the couch. A big bowl of popcorn. A bottle of wine. And a cooking show. It’s the perfect way to wrap up what ultimately always turns out to be busy weekends. It’s just our thing.
Back in January I made it a goal to pull a cookbook down off the shelf each month and cook at least one dish out of it. Here was a great opportunity to do double duty. I had the DVDs for Spain…On the Road Again and I had the cookbook that parallels the show.
Flipping through the cookbook, not only did this recipe sound delicious, it was clearly fate because I NEVER have lobster stock just hanging around in the freezer (really…who does?), but thanks to a recent impromptu dinner, I actually did!
I also had a few spears of fresh asparagus that seemed like the perfect spring compliment.
One of the things that is very apparent in this tv series is that great food doesn’t have to be complicated. Often it’s fresh seafood and vegetables cooked over an open fire with little more than good olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. It’s a theory I intend to embrace more.
Rice with Lobster Stock, Mushrooms and Asparagus
Adapted from a recipe in Spain A Culinary Road Trip by Mario Batali with Gwyneth Paltrow
A really delicious arroz. The combination of lobster stock and mushrooms is an especially savory one. If you like, you can fold in some cooked lobster meat at the end for a more luxurious dish.
4 cups lobster stock (see Note)
1 cup bomba rice (you can substitute Arborio)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ pound mixed wild mushrooms, trimmed as necessary
½ pound asparagus
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the lobster stock in a small saucepan; keep warm over low heat. Set a medium heavy pot over medium heat, add the rice and 1 cup of the warm stock, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed most of the stock. Add another cup of stock and cook, stirring, until most of the stock has been absorbed. Continue to cook, stirring and adding stock each time the previous addition has been aborbed, until the rice is tender; this will take about 20 minutes.
Trim tough ends from asparagus; discard. Cut off asparagus tips and reserve. Cut stalks into 3/4˝ long pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and asparagus and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, or until browned and mushrooms have softened Stir into the rice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.