If you’ve been following me on Instagram you might have noticed a lot of “sneak peak” photographs utilizing some sponsored item. All of those goodies will be shared for #BrunchWeek which starts next Monday. I am so excited!
One of our generous sponsors is Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic/True Juice Family. A beautiful box of fresh organic produce and juices arrived on my doorstep. The kale and radishes will be utilized next week. The baby carrots have been a perfect healthy afternoon snack – reminding me how much I enjoy carrots! Cal-Organic also sent a bag of Colorshred carrots. The beautiful bag of carrot confetti was used to create a colorful spring time risotto.
We grilled up some chicken to serve alongside this side dish. As a side dish, the recipe below will serve four people. My little man really enjoyed this risotto and even had some of the leftovers for lunch the next day. Look who’s coming around to carrots after all!
- 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
- 1 tbsp butter, divided use
- 1 1/2 C shredded carrots
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 C arborio rice
- 1/4 C white wine
- 3 – 4 C chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp parsley
- In a dutch oven over medium-high heat melt half of the butter and half of the oil. Add the shredded carrots with 1/4 C water, salt, and the sugar. Cover and cook for five minutes. Uncover and allow to cook until the liquid is evaporated. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
- In the dutch oven melt the remaining butter and oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the arborio rice, stir to coat, and cook about one minute. Deglaze with white wine.
- Once the wine is absorbed add the warm stock a ladleful at a time, stirring, waiting for liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Continue cooking this way until the rice is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the carrots, ricotta, Parmesan, and parsley. Season to taste with S+P. If needed, thin the risotto with additional stock.
*This recipe is adapted from Debi at http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/spring-and-caramelized-carrot-risotto/*
Disclaimer: I was provided a bag of Colorshred carrots and other produce through #BrunchWeek, however all opinions and statements are my own.
Today is my first month posting with Blogger CLUE. Much like the game, this blogger society involves secrecy, fun, challenge and cooperation with the other game playing members. The good news about this, however, is that in the end, everyone’s a winner. All of the participating bloggers are assigned a blog to find, pick, and make a recipe. But the twist with this group is that there’s a theme!
This month I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme and had the task of finding a recipe utilizing spring vegetables. I was on a personal mission to use asparagus. It’s my favorite spring vegetable, and while we do enjoy it year round, it’s always better in season! I found three contenders: Spring Green Risotto; Pasta with Proscuitto, Asparagus, and Peas; and Warm Salad with Grilled Asparagus.
I chose the risotto for a few reasons: I already had mascarpone in my fridge, which is very rare, I’ve been wanting to try fennel, and my husband had been asking for risotto for a few weeks. Win – win – win!
We enjoyed this risotto for Easter supper! My 9 month old even enjoyed it! I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the peas but they didn’t phase him. Which makes me very excited. It’s been hard getting him to eat vegetables – other than sweet potato.
I made a couple changes to the recipe: by using what I had I combined chicken stock and vegetable stock to have enough liquid and instead of blanching the asparagus and adding it later, I chopped it up to about the size of peas and added it with the leeks and fennel.
Spring Green Risotto
- 5 C stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination of both)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 1/2 lb asparagus, diced
- 1 1/2 C arborio rice
- 2/3 C white wine
- 1 1/4 C frozen peas, thawed
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 C mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
- In a pot bring the stock to a simmer.
- In a dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil over medium high heat. Saute leeks, fennel, and asparagus for 5 minutes.
- Add the rice, stirring to coat in the veggies, cook a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Once the wine has been absorbed add the stock a ladleful at a time. Stir often and add more stock after the previous addition has been absorbed.
- At the halfway point, add the peas and lemon zest. Season to taste with S+P.
- When rice is creamy remove from heat. (Note: You might not use all of the stock, although I did.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and mascarpone. Stir into the risotto along with the parmesan cheese.
*This recipe is adapted from Kate at http://aspoonfulofthyme.blogspot.com/2010/05/two-fer-one-grilled-herb-shrimp-and.html*
Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:
Creating your own recipes can be daunting, but using a neutral flavored base is a great way to learn how to play with flavors. Rice, chicken, potatoes.
I like to get creative with risotto. There’s something therapeutic to me about stirring a pot of soon-to-be-creamy Arborio rice.
I planned to make this dish the first Friday of Lent as a way to “sweet talk” my husband. As he isn’t Catholic, I don’t force upon him a fast or expect him to abstain from meat on Fridays. But if we’re eating in, we’re having either seafood or a meatless entrée. Most often I’ll make pasta, and brown up some meat or grill some chicken for him.
We ended up ordering pizza that Friday instead so this risotto became a beautiful “fancy” side dish to some baked chicken on another night. I wouldn’t recommend using this recipe as your main dish anyway. Now that I think about it, risotto isn’t often, if ever, served as a main dish – unless it has meat in it.
Sun-dried Tomato Risotto
- 5 C chicken broth
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 C Arborio Risotto Rice
- 1/4 C vegetable stock or white wine
- 10 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
- 1 C fresh spinach
- 1/4 C mascarpone
- 2 tbsp grated asiago cheese
- 1 lemon
- Bring chicken broth to a simmer over low to medium heat.
- In a large pot (I use a dutch oven) saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with S+P. When onion is translucent add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add rice and toast 2 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with vegetable stock or white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the pan.
- Once liquid is absorbed add 1-2 ladles of warm chicken broth. Stir often. Once liquid is absorbed repeat until rice is tender and creamy. You may not need all of the chicken broth.
- Once rice is cooked through reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, spinach, mascarpone, and asiago. Stir until spinach is wilted and cheese melted. Squeeze with lemon and serve.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
For Mexican Monday I am happy and proud to share with you one of my original recipes.
In January of 2011 Food Network magazine had an Iron Chef type challenge using the secret ingredient Spaghetti. I had an idea, I made it, and I submitted my recipe to Food Network. I didn’t win, or at least I don’t think I won, it’s been over two years and I still haven’t seen the winner announced!
I decided to break up the spaghetti and make a mock risotto. To add even more of a twist I opted to use Mexican flavors instead of Italian. I used a Mexican beer in place of white wine, chorizo as my meat, and Mexican blend cheese instead of Parmesan.
Makes 2-3 Servings
- 1/2 lb spaghetti, broken
- 2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 Spanish onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded
- 3/4 bottle light Mexican beer
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 C chicken broth
- 1 tomato, diced
- handful fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 3/4 – 1 C shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- zest of 1/2 lime
- In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, brown chorizo in olive oil. When cooked, remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Leave the drippings in the skillet.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the butter. Add garlic once butter is melted. After 30 seconds add in the broken spaghetti. Toast for 2 minutes. Add onion and jalapeno. Saute until onions are translucent.
- Deglaze the pan with the beer. Add in oregano. When beer is absorbed, add chicken broth in about four stages, allowing the broth to be absorbed before each addition of liquid.
- After pasta is al dente add in diced tomato, cilantro, and the cooked chorizo. Let warm through and melt in the cheese. Garnish with lime zest and cilantro.
This post accompanies yesterday’s Red Pepper Pesto Crusted Tilapia. It is also a Nikki Dinki recipe.
Risotto is my favorite thing to cook. Risotto has the reputation of being very difficult and is presented as a fancy restaurant only dish. It takes patience (something I’m admittedly not very good at) and attention. It requires tasting. It requires you to immerse yourself in the process, to trust your hand when to add more liquid and when it’s done.
Rumor has it you must remain at the stove constantly stirring and tending to the pot of rice, but I’m here to tell you that’s not true. I’m not telling you to dump in some liquid and go take a bath, but you can relieve yourself from the wooden spoon occasionally. You can watch from the sidelines as the new addition of liquid bubbles and the rice absorbs the flavors being added to it. When you stir, do so gently and without repetition – I like to trace my spoon in figure eights, zig zags, and circles.
Making risotto makes me happy. Even though I don’t find it difficult to prepare, I still feel proud. Like I did something impressive. Like I could get famous off of this. (Oh, to dream)
- 2 shallots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 C Arborio rice
- 3 cans vegetable stock
- 3/4 C parmesan cheese
- 1/2 C sliced scallions
- 1 C grapes, halved
- Bring stock to a gentle simmer in a large pot.
- In a dutch oven, saute shallots and garlic in olive oil. Add rice and cook for a couple of minutes. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 C stock. Once the stock is absorbed by the rice, add in another ladleful of stock. Stir. Repeat the process until the rice is cooked and creamy. Season with salt, to taste.
- Stir in cheese, scallions, and grapes.
*This recipe is adapted from Nikki at http://www.nikkidinkicooking.com/home/pesto-crusted-halibut-grape-risotto.html*