So, when I originally made this, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for doing so (I think I only had half the necessary rice and tried to reduce accordingly), but what I got out of it was pretty good, and I definitely want to try making this again. Seems like a perfect spring type recipe, with the lemon, and especially with the herb garden I want to get going out here. 

Baked Risotto with Finnes Herbes and Lemon

Ingredients

  • 3 T butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts finely chopped and well washed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 t sea salt
  • .5 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1.5 c arborio rice
  • 1.25 c dry white wine
  • 3.5 to 4 c chicken stock, warmed
  • .5 c Parmesan cheese (I used parmigiano reggiano)
  • .5 t fresh lemon zest
  • (original recipe recommends .25 c fresh parsley, 3 T finely sliced chives, and 1 T coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, I think I did a bunch of dried parsley and tarragon, going to try that again once fresh herbs are more in season)

Preheat your oven to 425. Keep your chicken stock warm in a separate nearby pot. While your oven preheats, take a large (roughly 2 qt, I used this to break in my new dutch oven) baking dish, and lightly butter it. If you’re me, what you’ll do is just use that dutch oven for everything, making this a one-pot meal. If you don’t have a baking dish that’s stovetop usable, grab a separate pot. Whatever you end up cooking in, melt 2 T butter over medium heat. Once melted, add your chopped leek and onion, sea salt, and pepper, and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, which should take around 10 minutes.

Then, add your rice. Stir to coat in the butter, and cook until the rice starts toasting (you’ll get a nice nutty smell, and it sizzles and pops a bit), about two minutes or so. Then, add your wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until almost completely absorbed, about three minutes total. (And yes, in accordance with the other risotto recipes, you absolutely need to drink the rest of the bottle of wine for science.)  Then, add 3 c of chicken stock, bring everything back to a simmer, and either just put it straight in the oven, or, if you needed a separate dish, put it in that. 

Bake your risotto for five minutes at a time, stirring every five minutes, for fifteen minutes total, until the stock is completely absorbed into the risotto. (See the difference between pictures 3 and 4.) Remove from the oven, and stir in your herbs of choice, the remaining 1 T butter, the parmesan, and the lemon zest. Then add the remaining .5 to 1 c chicken stock slowly, and stir until the rice is creamy. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Risottos are always a fantastic thing. This is the first time I’ve made this one, and it has a nice breakfasty twist to it. It could probably use a bit more wine and chicken stock to absorb into the risotto, so I’ll remember that for next time. Poaching the eggs didn’t work so well this time around, but there’s always next time. But otherwise? A wonderful, cheesy risotto. 

Bacon and Poached Egg Risotto
Lasts 2 to 3 meals as a main

Ingredients

  • 3 c chicken stock
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced (original recommends shallot)
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • .5 c white wine (I used Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food wine, as is my standard for risottos)
  • .5 c freshly grated gruyere (original recommends Comte)
  • .25 c shredded parmesan
  • 4 slices thick sliced bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T butter
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Bring your chicken stock to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer in a separate pot. In a pan over medium high heat, heat your olive oil, and add your minced onion. Saute until translucent (about two minutes). Add your rice, toast until it smells nutty (about two minutes), and then add your white wine, stirring until it’s completely absorbed.  Then, drink the rest of the bottle of wine as you’re cooking the risotto.  Yes, this is absolutely necessary to the success of the recipe. Because science.

Now, take your heated chicken stock, and add a few ladlefuls at a time to the risotto, stirring constantly until it’s absorbed, and then adding a few more, until your quart of chicken stock is used up.  It’s going to take almost constant effort, but the result will be worth it, especially in how creamy it makes it, trust me.  After the chicken stock is used up, taste the risotto to see where it’s at – it should be creamy, but not at all mushy.  Keep drinking the wine.  It totally helps.  (This is the area where I think I may need to add more chicken stock next time.)

While you’re adding in the chicken stock, cook your bacon to its desired doneness and set aside. To poach your eggs, fill a small pot with water, a splash of white vinegar, and salt.  Crack your eggs into separate holders (ie ramekin, small bowl, whatever) while the water comes to a simmer.  Once simmering, stir the water with a whisk in one direction until it’s spinning around like a small whirlpool. Then, add your eggs into the center of the whirlpool one at a time, and turn off the heat.  (This method works for up to four eggs.) Let sit for five minutes, and then remove from the water with a slotted spoon.  Your eggs will be nice and soft in the center, and quite yummy besides. (I didn’t have the salt and vinegar this time, so this is likely why they did not turn out as well.)

Once the stock has been absorbed, remove from heat, add your butter, gruyere, and parmesan, and stir. Add your bacon and poached eggs on top, and then enjoy!

This was one of the first recipes I cooked on my own after college, and man, this was a revelation, for several reasons.  One, that Jewel Staite, aka Kaylee from Firefly did a cooking blog, and was pretty awesome at it. Two, the way you could buy a bottle of wine, use part of it in a recipe, and drink the rest, and have it be socially acceptable.  😛  

A few notes on what I used for this recipe.  Usually, I’ve substituted regular parmesan for parmigiano-reggiano, but here I used SarVecchio’s Bella Vitano Gold, and I honestly think it’s a more than acceptable substitute (and plus it tastes fantastic).  As with my other risotto recipe, I use Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food white wine.  The frozen peas were bought shelled on the cheap over the summer and thrown into the freezer, and the bacon comes from a local farmer’s market vendor.  It’s definitely worth putting the money into this, because the results are one of my favorite mainstay recipes.

Jewel Staite’s Bacon and Pea Risotto
Lasts 5 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 1 qt (32 oz, 4 c) chicken stock
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • .5 lb bacon (definitely go with farmer’s market bacon if you can, otherwise, thick cut), chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • half of a medium onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c white wine (I use Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food)
  • 1.5 c arborio rice
  • handful of cherry tomatoes (usually half a pint), halved
  • .5 c frozen peas
  • 2 T marscapone cheese
  • .5 c parmigiano-reggiano (or SarVecchio BellaVitano Gold, or plain ol’ parmesan)

On a separate burner, over medium-low heat, heat your quart of chicken stock, and keep it at that temperature until needed later in the recipe.

Take your bacon, and chop it thin. While you’re chopping your bacon, put your olive oil in a skillet and heat it over medium high.  Cook it to your desired doneness (I usually go for medium, not crispy at all), and drain off the bacon and all but 1 T of the fat.  Add your garlic and onions, and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add your cherry tomatoes, and then soon after, your rice.  Toast your rice until it smells nutty, and then add your cup of wine, stirring until it’s completely absorbed (see pic 3).  Then, drink the rest of the bottle of wine as your cooking the risotto.  Yes, this is absolutely necessary to the success of the recipe. Because science.

Now, take your heated chicken stock, and add a few ladlefuls at a time to the risotto, stirring constantly until it’s absorbed, and then adding a few more, until your quart of chicken stock is used up.  It’s going to take almost constant effort, but the result will be worth it, especially in how creamy it makes it, trust me.  After the chicken stock is used up, taste the risotto to see where it’s at – it should be creamy, but not at all mushy.  Keep drinking the wine.  It totally helps.

Once your risotto is ready, then add your peas and stir for a few minutes, before removing the risotto from the heat.  Once the heat is off, add your two cheeses, followed by your reserved bacon.

And then, enjoy your awesome meal, with whatever of the wine you haven’t already drank.

So, this is what I made while the asparagus was roasting for the maple dijon asparagus.  Another mainstay recipe, relatively cheap for the amount of stuff you need for it (seriously, the most expensive thing you will need is the wine), and good and hearty.  I also recommend a good slice of bread to go with it – I picked up a thing of roasted garlic bread at the store, because I didn’t want to bake bread tonight.  😛  (Yes, I can occasionally be lazy.  It’s fun.)

Tomato and Sausage Risotto
Lasts a minimum of five meals

Ingredients

  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ¾ lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (or, 3/5 links in a typical package)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 c. arborio rice
  • ½ c white wine (I usually go with Cupcake Wines’ Angel Food)
  • ½ c grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 T marscapone (this is only if you have it on hand, you can skip it, but it is amaaaaaazing)

Combine the tomatoes and water in a separate pot and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, lower the heat to low to keep it warm.

In a separate pot, combine the olive oil, sausage, and onion over medium heat, and use your spatula to break up the sausage as it cooks (see first pic). Cook until the sausage is opaque (usually 3 to 5 mins). Then, add your rice, stirring until coated (appx 1 to 2 mins), and add the wine (and unless you’re using it for something else, drink the rest of the bottle :P).  Stir until absorbed (see pics 2 and 3 for what that usually looks like, but with the tomato mixture).

Speaking of the tomato mixture, add 2 c of the hot mixture to start to the pot, and simmer until absorbed (appx 4 to 5 mins, again, see pics 2 and 3 for what this usually looks like), and continue to add 1 c at a time, stirring and absorbing and adding the next cup until you’ve used up all the liquid (the amount I gave is usually the sweet point for not too much liquid), and the rice is creamy, but not mushy.  This usually takes at least 25 minutes to a half hour.

Once you reach that point, remove the pot from heat, and stir in your parmesan (and marscapone, if you’re using it). And then, enjoy the hell out of it.