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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The 3 F’s of the Holiday Season – Family, Food, and Feasting!!!

Ahhhhhhh, it’s been so long since I’ve posted!  The whirlwind of holidays, visiting family, and numerous hours in the kitchen prepping, cooking, and feasting has finally come to an end.  Back to work this week and getting re-adjusted to the normal life.

As we grow older, we begin to realize the true importance of the holidays.  It’s not about the gifts.  It’s not about the amount of money that you spend on a gift.  It’s interesting how we tend to believe that the more money you spend on someone, the more you love them?  Anyway, not to sound cliché, but the best part about this past holiday season was the time that we were able to spend with family.  Bjorn’s siblings visited from California and Texas, making an almost complete Bumactao household (missed dad!).  We only see them once every 1-2 years, so their visit was extra special.  And of course, we spent time with my family, who are all located in CT.

So, we’re making plans for holiday gatherings… the usual Christmas day brunch and white elephant gift exchange at our house with my family, but what to do with Bjorn’s family?  Being the planner that I am, I kept on bugging Bjorn for a definitive date/location for the Christmas gathering…  Finally, a few days before Christmas, we have the following conversation:

Me: So, have you spoken to your family?

Bjorn: Yep, I made an executive decision.

Me: Ok…

Bjorn: Dinner on Christmas eve.

Me: Okay, super!  At your mom’s, right?

Bjorn: No, at our house!!!

Me: **Silence** as I panic on the inside because this is merely days before Christmas and I haven’t planned ANYTHING! What to eat?  What do I need to buy at the grocery store? What’s easy to make?  How can I just use the oven to cook a majority of the items? Need to make a run to the liquor store.  Need to clean the house.  How will we divide and conquer?

Needless to say, it all worked out in the end. 🙂  I spent most of my day/early evening in the kitchen, but it was well worth it.  We had an amazing meal and enjoyed the rest of the night just hanging out, enjoying cocktails, playing board games (yes, no iPhone access for an hour!), and opening our secret santa gifts.

Here’s the star of the night…

Prime Rib Roast

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 whole rib eye roast, bone-in, 8 lbs
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt, 1/4 cup
  • Crushed peppercorns, 1/4 cup
  • Rosemary, 4 sprigs
  • Thyme, 4 sprigs
  • Minced garlic, 1/4 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (F).
  2. Cut rib eye roast in half (cooks more evenly in the oven).
  3. In a large skillet, over high heat, pan sear both halves in olive oil until nice and golden.DSC01928
  4. Prepare the ingredients for the rub.  Place the peppercorns in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin (or any other tool that will do the job). Strip the leaves from the rosemary and thyme sprigs.  Measure out the salt.  Mince the garlic.  Combine all ingredients into a bowl.DSC01927DSC01930
  5. Drizzle olive oil on the rib roast and pat on the dry rub.  Spread evenly and pat slightly to ensure that it sticks to the roast.053
  6. Place in oven for 30 minutes at 500 degrees (F).  Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees (F) and roast for an additional 20-30 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer to determine if the roast is cooked to your liking.  We love it medium rare, so I took this out of the oven when the internal temperature reached 145 degrees (F).  Remember that the roast continues to cook a bit even after you remove from the oven.
  7. Remove from oven and let the beautiful roast rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.DSC01933DSC01939