Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CEiMB - Garden Risotto

Our CEiMB was hosted this week by Hosted by Jessica at A Singleton in the Kitchen. Jessica is one of my favorite bloggers! This week we made Ellie Krieger’s Garden Risotto together.
I love to eat risotto. I always hesitate to make it though. It is just the “time” thing. You cook, you stir, you cook, you stir, you cook some more. For some reason, it never cooks in the time the recipes say it will cook. If it says 18 minutes, you can bet your bootie it will take me 30 minutes. But if you are thinking you could substitute plain rice for risotto, think again. Risotto has a creamy, smooth taste that rice could never match. Having said that, with a glass of wine in hand, there is something incredibly relaxing about making risotto. Add a little broth, drink a little wine, stir. Add a little more broth, drink more wine, stir. Add wine, drink broth, stir. Taste risotto, slide down on floor where wine spilled, stir. Sir, drnik wine, broth add. Yeah, you can tell I had fun with this one!
A lot of home cooks are afraid of risotto which is a shame because it is easy to make and the best risotto is almost always made in the home. I think restaurants sometimes reheat theirs and it just doesn’t have that love cuddled around it that a good home-cooked dish possesses. I would love to try some risotto in Northern Italy, because I am sure it would be the best of all.

I made the recipe by the book, except I substituted canned asparagus for the fresh and left off the parmesan. I halved the recipe because there are just two of us and it was still quite a bit of risotto. I served it up with some pan fried pork chops and we enjoyed every bite of it and went back for seconds! Thank you so much Jessica for choosing this recipe this week!!

Quick question for all you wonderful cooks. . . what's the best kind of coffee to use for after dinner coffee and what ratio do you use for it? All my coffee always tastes bitter or too strong. I've tried starbucks (bitter), folgers, seattle's best, etc. What is the secret???

Garden Risotto

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 lightly packed cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 pound asparagus, steamed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth, the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is almost tender and creamy-looking, about 18 minutes.
Add the spinach and peas and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the asparagus and cook just until the vegetables are hot. Stir in the Parmesan and more broth if the risotto seems too thick. Serve in soup plates.


Leslie said...

Looks great, Peggy! The jury is still out on whether I'll get this on the table before we leave on vacation.

I serve Peet's French Roast, but it's pretty sturdy, but not bitter. Puts hair on your chest as my mother used to say. I found some good info by Googling "bitter coffee."

Jessica said...

Yay! I'm so glad that you liked the risotto. It is sort of time consuming but it sounds like it made a great dinner.
I love coffee (and I love the picture in your sidebar, too. That's how I feel) but I'm a milk and sugar girl so the bitterness doesn't bother me as much because I just keep adding more milk. I do agree that Starbucks coffee is really, really bitter though. I love Community Coffee but I can't get that here in DC so I usually buy Peet's Major Dickason's Blend and I think that it's a very nice, smooth coffee.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who thought 18 minutes was not nearly enough time for the risotto. It took me at least 30 minutes, but I had wine to keep me company too :)

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I love to eat risotto but I'm never a happy risotto cooker. I'm glad you had success with yours!

Anonymous said...

Everything you said about Risotto is so true. Mine took about 30 minutes. I tried other rice years ago...it never turned creamy. Live and learn. I have not, however, ever tried the sip wine, stir, add broth, sip wine...etc. Good idea!

As for coffee, we LOVE coffee. The best investment we ever made was a Keurig coffee making which uses the K-Cups. Everyone can then have their own type of coffee...strong, mild, flavored...even tea! Def. something to look into.

Jen said...

Your risotto looks great Peggy! I am glad you enjoyed it! And I agree with you - I want to know who managed to get their risotto cooked in 18 minutes -- and how in the heck did they do it???

Have you tried O'Henry's coffee? They have a number of different roasts and I am sure the folks there could recommend which one would be best for after dinner.

Enjoy your 4 day vacation! I am keeping my fingers crossed that it wont rain the entire weekend!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

Glad you enjoyed this one. It looks wonderful. I also find this to be relaxing, you don't have to think, all you have to do is stir (while half watching an episode of General Hospital if you are me)

Sara said...

I have to say I take issue with your description of the process. You left out a few crucial steps, I think more accurately it would be:

Read recipe
Defrost broth (while drinking)
Toast rice
Add broth and stir
Stir more
Drink more

But you got the basics for sure! :)


AJM said...

I agree, let's go to Northern Italy for a risotto field trip! Lookin good on the risotto!

Pamela said...

Hmmmm...not a coffee fan, so I have no advice to offer up. I agree that risotto making can be relaxing. But I just wish I had a chair to sit on since we are sort of tied to the stove for the duration, you know? Other than that, no complaints! It was a tasty risotto, though. Glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for the photo compliments. I have started taking the pictures outside on my sun porch and the natural light has made all the difference. And then I edit them to get a closer, tighter shot, too.

Marthe said...

Looks delicious! Next time I'll definetely use your tip about drink, stir, drink, stir!

Cathy said...

Peggy, the risotto looks incredible! So glad you enjoyed it!

I love Melitta coffee. They have it at Publix. I will bring you some so you can try it before you commit. Some days it is better than others (isn't it weird with coffee how you do the same thing every day but it doesn't always taste the same?) but overall I really enjoy it.