Creamy saffron & asparagus risotto


MMMM... Made this risotto last night for dinner and it was DELICIOUS! Super flavorful and really rich BUT it is a new healthy recipe featured in the new "Make it FRESH, Make it HEALTHY" cookbook from Pampered Chef... This is easily my favorite new cookbook!:
I'm not a huge fan of rice but LOVE risotto.. I added two sliced chicken breasts as well for some protein. So comforting and delicious. I had some cream cheese and asparagus to use up so here is the recipe:
1.5 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. saffron threads
3 medium shallots, finely diced
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay 
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
8 oz. (250 g)  fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch spears
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 oz. cream cheese
1. Bring chicken stock and saffron to a boil and reduce to simmer
2. Saute shallots in oil for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add rice and stir until well coated with oil.
3. Add 3/4 white wine and stir until the wine has evaporated
4. Ladle 1/2 chicken stock into rice mixture and stir until well absorbed, about 4-5 minutes. Continue ladling 3 more times leaving 1/2 chicken stock left over.
5. Add Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/2 cup of stock, asparagus, salt & pepper and stir until a thick and creamy consistency and the rice is cooked.
When chicken stock, Parm & asparagus first added
Once chicken stock is evaporated and rice cooked
6. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese. Stir until melted and combined.


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