The first editor I hired for the Slim Man Cooks cookbook took out a lot of the jokes.

I started one story/recipe with one of my favorites…

Why don’t cannibals eat divorced people?

Because they’re bitter.

Click on the pic to see the YouTube video

The editor took it out because she thought it might be offensive to divorced people. I thought it was funny.

In another section, she took out one of the instructions for a chicken recipe. I had written…

Dust your breasts with flour. Do the same with the chicken breasts.

I thought it was funny, she thought it might be offensive to women. I was gonna point out to her that both women and men have breasts, but I didn’t. I went through the whole cookbook and put the jokes back in. And then I found a new editor.

The second editor was a little better. For instance, in an asparagus recipe, I wrote…

Why does asparagus make your pee-pee smell funny?

She pointed out the “pee-pee” was an anatomical term, and that I should use the word “pee” instead. Well, it was a small improvement, but an improvement nonetheless.

When I was coming up with this risotto recipe, I decided to use asparagus. I went to the grocery store, the asparagus was fresh, looked wonderful, and was on sale. I bought some, and used it in this dish.

Risotto. It’s a dish that needs attention! You need to stand over this dish until it’s done. So, when you have guests over that you are not crazy about and want to hide in the kitchen? This is the dish to make!

Keep in mind, the key to cooking risotto is to add a ladle of broth, and stir gently until it’s absorbed. Keep adding ladles and stirring until absorbed. It usually takes about 20 or 25 minutes. It should take about 4 minutes or so for each ladle to be absorbed. If it takes longer, turn the heat up a touch; if it takes less time, turn it down.

When the rice is al dente, firm to the bite, she’s-a done!


I used chicken stock, you can use seafood or vegetable stock.



Saffron (some threads, not too much, it’s EXPENSIVE)

5 cups broth (chicken, vegetable, or seafood—I used chicken)

¼ pound pancetta, cubed (diced)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup dry white wine

1 pound shrimp, deveined and deshelled (save the shells) and chopped into smaller pieces

1 ½ cups asparagus (tips and about 1 or 2 inches down the stalks, chopped)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup minced onion

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

½ cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (OPTIONAL)


Put the saffron threads in one cup of warm chicken broth. Mix and let sit.

Put the remaining 4 cups of broth in a small sauce pan over low heat.

Add the shrimp shells to the broth, stir.

Put a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat for 2 minutes.

Add the pancetta, cook until brown, about 6 minutes, stir occaisonally.

Remove with a slotted spoon.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add ¼ cup of the white wine.

Add the shrimp, cook until pink, about 3 minutes; remove.

Add the asparagus, and a little salt, cook for 3 or 4 minutes until tender; remove.

Add 2 tablespoons butter.

Add the onion, stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the rice, stir gently and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the remaining ¼ cup of white wine, stir and cook 2 minutes.

Turn the heat down under the rice.

Remove the shrimp shells from the broth.

Add a ladle of stock (no shells!) and stir until absorbed (about 3-5 minutes).

Add another ladle of stock (no shells!) and stir until absorbed (about 3-5 minutes).

Add the cup of stock with the saffron, stir until absorbed.

Add some salt, stir.

Add another ladle of stock (no shells!) and stir until absorbed (about 3-5 minutes).

Add one more ladle, and stir until absorbed.

At this point the rice should be done, al dente, firm to the tooth.

If it’s not, add another ladle, or a little warm water if you’ve run out of broth; stir until absorbed and the rice is done.

Add the shrimp, the asparagus and the pancetta, and stir gently.

OPTIONAL: add ½ cup of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, stir gently.

Dish it up!