Arborio Rice Goodness

My oh my, it has been awhile, my friends…!

I haven’t been whipping up many new recipes in the kitchen, just been cooking a lot of the same ol’ stuff or some variation of it.

On a lazy Sunday night, Bjorn wanted to get take-out, but I knew I had a ton of goodies in the kitchen and some extra time on my hands… and so I whipped up today’s recipe – Mushroom Risotto.  I always tend to order risotto when we’re out to eat because it is SO labor intensive, but it never really tastes like what I’m expecting.  Risotto is definitely a pain to make, but the end result is worth it.  My good friend, Christian, also gifted me with a bottle of truffle oil, so I knew I had to put that to good use.  This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence.

Mushroom Risotto

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 onion and 1 clove garlic and saute until translucent.  Add the mushrooms, herbs and butter. Saute for an additional 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned. Season with sea salt and black pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, drizzle olive oil and saute the remaining 1/2 onion and garlic clove.  Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque (1 minute).
  4. Using a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm chicken broth to the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy. Transfer the mushrooms to the rice mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese, cook briefly until melted. Top with a drizzle of truffle oil and chopped parsley before serving.

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A Twist on a Classic Filipino Dish

What do you do when Mother Nature dumps nearly 3 feet of snow on your front door? You cook, bake, and eat!  (After you’ve shoveled, of course…)

Yes, we got hit hard by the blizzard dubbed “Nemo” in the Northeast.  Thankfully, we don’t get crazy blizzards like this every winter, but when we do, all of us New Englanders wonder “So, why the heck do we still live here?!?!?!?”

After what felt like endless digging outside, we retreated to the couch with a marathon of Downton Abbey, and frequent visits to the kitchen.  Eating, munching, cooking, tasting; a perfect lazy Saturday afternoon.

Tonight’s dinner is a twist on the Filipino dish, chicken adobo.  It has very similar flavors (as you can see, the ingredients are nearly identical), except I’ve used a combination of balsamic and sherry vinegars, and added California golden raisins and mushrooms.

Vinegar Braised Chicken & Mushrooms

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of organic chicken drumsticks, bone-in (approximately 8 drumsticks)
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, halved
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of sherry vinegar
  • 14 oz of chicken broth
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Bacon fat (or olive oil)
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  1. In a large pot (or dutch oven), over high heat, melt bacon fat, and add onions and garlic.  Saute until the edges are brown.
  2. Season chicken generously with sea salt and black pepper.  Add chicken to the pot and brown for about 5 minutes on each side.  You don’t want to cook the chicken, but rather just achieve a nice and crispy golden brown color.  Remove chicken from pot and set aside.DSC02279
  3. Add mushrooms to the pot and cook for about 7 minutes, until tender.  Remove all ingredients (mushrooms, onions, and garlic) from pot and set aside.DSC02281
  4. Place pot back onto the stove top over medium to high heat.  Add balsamic and sherry vinegar to the pot, stirring and scraping off any browned bits from the pot.  Add chicken broth, raisins, bay leaves, and the reserved chicken, mushrooms, onions, and garlic to the pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, and simmer for 25 minutes.DSC02284
  5. Remove bay leaves prior to serving.




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