ASPARAGUS RISOTTO WITH FONDUTA
4 ounces fontina cheese, trimmed of rind and sliced
3 tablespoons milk
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon whipping cream
15 asparagus stems
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 shallots, minced
1 generous cup arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
2-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Fonduta: Begin by soaking the cheese slices in the milk for 1-2 hours.
Asparagus: Break off the woody portion of the asparagus stems. Peel the remaining stalks. Simmer them in salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Cool immediately in iced water. Reserve 1 cup of asparagus cooking water in a small saucepan . Cut asparagus into 1” slices and reserve.
Risotto: Heat the chicken broth to a simmer. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet. Sauté the shallot pieces until they wilt. Stir in the rice and coat with butter. Add the wine and enough broth to cover the rice and bring to a simmer. Cook the rice slowly, adding broth only when the previous addition has been absorbed.
Fonduta: Heat the asparagus cooking water. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a bowl set on top of the pan.. Stir in the cheese, and continue stirring until it has melted. Off the heat stir in the egg yolk and cream. Hold the fonduta and water in reserve off the heat.
Assembly: The rice will become tender in about 20 minutes. Add asparagus water if needed to supplement the chicken broth. Melt the last tablespoon butter in the skillet used to cook the asparagus. Warm the asparagus pieces in the butter and season to taste. Off the heat, fold the asparagus into the rice. Fold in enough fonduta to create a slightly soupy consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Divide the risotto among serving plates. Pass cheese at the table.