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by Sarah Steimer

Farrotto with scallions and bacon

This was an ideal dish for our wacky weather lately. The farro and bacon are the comfort food we (still!) need while the temperatures continue to dip, while the bright pops of scallion give us a literal taste of the spring season I hope we see soon.

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by Sarah Steimer

I paired this risotto with an asparagus-Gruyere tart. The mint in this dish may seem odd for a risotto, but it's balanced very nicely with the salty pork chorizo. And one last thing - this picture doesn't do it justice. It looks dry here only because it's the leftover batch. Straight from the pan it was perfectly creamy.

  • 2 1/2  cups chopped leeks (about three leeks using mainly the white and light green parts)
  • 1 cup  aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4-5 cups  hot stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced chorizo, if you can find the cured version. If not, use one chorizo sausage and remove from its casing. Cook as you would ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1  lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 cups  blanched fresh OR frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Begin heating the stock on the stove.

In the meantime, puree 1 cup of peas (ONLY ONE), lemon juice and zest, mint, parsley, and salt and pepper. Pulse in a food processor until it resembles a pesto. Set aside.

Add the oil and butter to a large pan with high sides. Allow the butter to melt before adding the leeks. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the leeks have wilted and the white parts are translucent. Add the rice and stir for about one minute, so the butter and oil coats the rice. Add the white wine and simmer for until the liquid is absorbed.

Add the hot stock to the pan one cup at a time, waiting to add the next cup once the first is absorbed. Repeat either until all the stock is used or the rice reaches your desired consistency. I used a little less than four cups.

Turn off the heat and add the pea-mint puree, cheese, chorizo and additional salt and pepper, if desired. Stir until fully combined. Serve warm with additional shredded cheese.

Makes four to six servings.

Recipe adapted from: Feasting at Home

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by Sarah Steimer

This was my first attempt at risotto - the trick is to keep stirring constantly and insist to everyone that it's going to be really great.

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 6 small leaves
  • 1 pound (2 cups) squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes – I went with an acorn squash
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons risotto rice, such as arborio
  • 5 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup tangy blue cheese, such as Gorgonzola, broken into hazelnut-size pieces

Bring the stock to the boil in a pot and keep hot over a low heat. Heat the oil and half the butter in another pan. Add the onion and garlic, cooking over medium heat until soft, but not brown. Add the sage and squash, then sauté for 1 minute.

Add the rice and stir until all the grains are coated in oil and butter. Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir until all the stock has been absorbed before adding another. Continue like this until all the stock has been used, stirring constantly, until the rice is creamy and tender but still has a little bite.

Stir in the Parmesan, blue cheese and the rest of the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Finely shred the 6 sage leaves and stir most of them in. Spoon onto warm plates and serve scattered with the remaining sage.

Serves four.

Recipe adapted from: Delicious Magazine

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