Saturday Cutlets & Asparagus, Lemon Risotto

“If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?”
-Martin Scorsese, Director

We sure miss cozy dinners with good friends on weekend nights, but we few have gathered a couple of times for an outdoor, proper socially distanced golf carts visits in our driveways and in wide-open spaces, this alone raises our spirits.   We have a huge front porch and there on a nice evening respectful social distancing is easy, again in fresh air for short periods of time…in the meantime pretty much nothing has changed in my kitchen, life goes on and every day is a celebration during tough times.

I always have a vegetable or vegetables showing off on the dinner table and for tonight since I was busy making risotto the old-fashioned way,  in a pan on the range as I haven’t been real happy with Instant Pot results and always too late for the slow cooker method, Mike was in charge of grilling the seasoned spring asparagus.  I had prepared some lovely veal cutlets for a brief sauté and a quick lemon pan sauce and we were all set…my priority was, of course, the risotto because most times it needs to be watched and tended to so as to have a wonderful creamy result.

I suggest my favorite source risotto recipes from Marcella Hazan some of the very best, but tonight I just winged it since I have made so many risotto versions over the years.  Knowing the basics of risotto is an advantage for making a good risotto and tonight’s risotto was delicious with a little substitute here and there, no shallots, used minced sweet and a small clove of garlic, the appropriate amount of chicken stock with lemon slices floating in it while the stock was heating, grated lemon zest, and a shaved cheese variety with the final addition of sliced asparagus pieces.

During the final cooking stage of the risotto, I heated another sauté with just enough EVOO to quickly sauté the cutlets for a few minutes on each side, reserving them on a warm plate while I made a quick pan sauce with some stock and a lemon juice.  

It was a wonderful spring dinner indeed and the next time hopefully with good friends.