Crab Risotto with Asparagus
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I always stress myself out about Valentine’s Day. My husband is a hard man to surprise and buy gifts for.
Point and case: our first Valentine’s Day, like a thousand and five years ago (or really 15), I tried really hard to come up with a good surprise for him. We had only been dating for 3 and a half months. And because we were so young and it was our first real relationship, we did things like celebrate all the little milestones including our 3 month anniversary. Nate hit it out of the park. Seriously, he pulled out all the stops and created this insanely sweet scavenger hunt that lead to a little present. My little teenage girl heart melted into a puddle.
I decided that he NEEDED a good Valentine’s Day. I was really serious about it. So I pulled out all the stops. I did research. I decided I would go over to his dorm after I was out of school and have his roommate let me into his suite where I would then whip up a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner while Nate was at track practice. Good plan right?
In theory. It all went well. I had my recipes picked and had talked with his roommate. A few days before Valentine’s Day, I was visiting Nate. His roommate caught me when Nate stepped out of the room and warned me that I needed to talk to Nate about Valentine’s Day immediately. Of course, I did what any rational teenage girl would do: I panicked.
As soon as Nate came back, I asked him as calmly as a teenage girl who is sure she’s about ready to be dumped can ask what’s going on. I told him his roommate had said something was up and we needed to talk. I was trying very hard not to cry.
Well, imagine my surprise when poor, bewildered Nate told me that he was planning to make me dinner as a surprise for me. He had filled his roommate in on the plan. Not only was he planning on doing exactly the same thing for me that I was doing for him, I even found out that he was planning to cook me the very same meal I was planning to cook for him.
Soulmates. It was one of those moments that showed us just how perfectly in sync we are.
Every Valentine’s Day we laugh about it. We marvel at our synchronicity even then when we were just beginning. These days, when we talk about that story, we are in awe of the life we have built together since then. We’ve come along way since those early days, and I fall more in love with him each day watching him be an awesome daddy to our 2 year old, listening to him support my endeavors, and hearing all of his corny jokes.Since we’ve been together for so long, Valentine’s Day doesn’t always get the same big fan fare that it did back in those early days but we still celebrate it just the same. We still enjoy cooking romantic dinners like this spicy shrimp scampi or this amazingly delicious crab risotto with asparagus for each other and cooking them at home for awesome home date nights.
And I take so much pleasure in picking out the perfect card to tell him how much I still love him. I try to pick a card that expresses my feeling. Often I buy him two. This year, the Goose and I went on a shopping day and picked out his cards and goodies together. The cards we selected were from American Greetings. American Greetings has an adorable line of Valentine’s Day cards, gift bags, gift wrap, printables, and stickers perfect for helping you to make Valentine’s Day special. You can find a store that sell American Greetings cards and wrapping here.
For super cute Valentine’s Day printables like the shopping list and decoration, you can check here.
The American Greetings card I chose summed up my feelings quite nicely and Goose, who is in an animal phase, chose a bear card shethought was perfect for Daddy. She also found doggy stickers, which she wanted to ” Doggy on card Dada.” (Translation: put on Dada’s card.)
She then panted like a puppy dog for the rest of the shopping trip.
I’m glad that Goose helped me pick a card to give to Dada. It’s so important that he feels appreciated from her too. Right now she may be too little to really say the words that would let him know that, but I know she will appreciate him when she’s older.
Though we both love her, it’s nice nights when she falls asleep easily and gives us some much needed time alone. Fortunately, the night we celebrated Valentine’s Day part one, she went to bed early. I started cooking up the crab risotto, but throwing it back to our first Valentine’s day, Nate joined. The result? Well truly delicious and worthy of a romantic evening at home.
Risotto sounds intimidating but it’s super easy to make. You just need to keep stirring and be patient when adding the liquid. Add a little at a time and let the risotto absorb it as it cooks. This way you get extra creamy risotto that compliments the sweet crab perfectly making for the perfect crab risotto. The white wine and vegetable stock add tons of background flavor. And the hint of garlic isn’t overpowering so it definitely doesn’t kill the romantic vibe.
Truly a Valentine’s Day meal to remember, complete with the perfect sentiment for the occasion.
Crab Risotto with Asparagus
For the risotto
- 1 cup of risotto
- 2 cups of white wine
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoons of butter
- 1 shallot
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 12 ounces of lump crab meat
- juice of half a lemon
- 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley to garnish
For the asparagus
- 1 pound of fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 1 tbs of butter
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbs lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- In a medium pot, heat 1 tbs of olive oil and 1.5 tbs butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the thinly sliced shallot and the crushed garlic for the risotto. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the shallots are slightly soft. Season with salt and pepper. Stir regularly.
- When the shallots are soft, add the cup of risotto. Stir to coat the risotto with the garlicky oil mixture. Add in a cup of white wine. Stir regularly and let the risotto cook until the first cup of wine is absorbed. Add in the second cup of wine and repeat. When wine is absorbed, pour in first cup of vegetable stock. Cook and stir until absorbed. Repeat with the second cup of stock.
- When all the stock is absorbed and the risotto is creamy and fluffy, stir in the crab, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Serve hot, garnishing with fresh parsley if desired.
For the asparagus
- While the risotto is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the butter and oil for the asparagus until the butter melts. Add in the prepared asparagus and crushed garlic. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the asparagus softens. Finish by sprinkling with lemon zest and serve with risotto.
- Category: dinner
- Cuisine: American, Seafood
- Serving Size: 2 large servings or 3-4 smaller servings