Thursday, 26 March 2015

RECIPE: The #InstaWeanTeam Asparagus Challenge!

I have a confession: I've never actually cooked asparagus before. 

I've eaten it loads of times (I'll basically eat anything except Boc Choy and water chestnuts - bleugh, it's a texture thing) but it's never been something on my weekly shopping list so this is a great challenge for me. It didn't take me long to decide that my dish for this week would be a risotto - I haven't made one for a little while but when I do, I tend to stick to just a couple of my tried and tested recipes so trying it with a new ingredient felt like a good plan. 

Risotto also goes quite thick and sticky so is perfect for baby to grab little handfuls of.


Asparagus Risotto Prep...
YOU'LL NEED:
8 Asparagus Spears
200g Arborio Rice
1/2 Cup Garden Peas
1/2 Lemon  
1.75 Pints Water
140g Cream Cheese 
4 Rashers Streaky Bacon
1 Baby (low salt) Vegetable Stock Cube (I get mine in Boots)
Black Pepper
Dried Parsley
Knob Unsalted Butter


 METHOD:
1. Put the butter and rice in a large pan. Toast the rice gently for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add 1.5 pints of water mixed with the baby stock cube, a pinch of parsley and a pinch of black pepper. The water should start bubbling away almost immediately. Turn it down to a simmer and keep an eye on it to make sure the pan doesn't run dry. You shouldn't have to touch it again for 20 minutes or so.
3. Lay the bacon out in a frying pan and cook on a low heat for around 15 minutes until crispy. Once done, lay out on some kitchen paper to cool (this will absorb any excess fat) 
4. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and lay on a baking tray. Sprinkle some black pepper on top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes at Gas Mark 7 until tender.
5. At this point you should have three things cooking away - I recommend a rest and a cup of tea :)
6. Cut the cooled bacon in small pieces and set aside.
7. Remove the asparagus from the oven and chop into small slices. Keep a few of the spear 'tops' aside for decoration if you're feeling fancy...!
8. By now the rice should have been cooking for 20 minutes. Add a further 1/4 pint of water, the peas, asparagus, cream cheese and stir well for 5 minutes to make sure it doesn't stick. Add a dash more more water if necessary. 
9. Take the rice off the heat and squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
10. At this point I separated 4 baby sized portions (1 for now and 3 for the freezer). I sprinkled 4-5 tiny pieces of bacon onto each of the baby portions and stirred the rest into the adult portion. 

Note: Bacon is super salty (mine had 1g of salt per 2 rashers) so be very careful on how much you give to baby. I didn't give any bacon before L was a year old.

If you make this, or anything else from the #InstaWeanTeam challenges over the coming weeks please tag me (@BLWMamaUK). The best will get a re-post!

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