So, when I originally made this, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for doing so (I think I only had half the necessary rice and tried to reduce accordingly), but what I got out of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!

Back in December/January, rib roasts were available for super fucking cheap because of the holidays, so I got to try a new roast recipe. Not sure if I’ll try it again, but if nothing else, the gorgonzola sauce that goes with it is pretty great. 

Sage Crusted Rib Roast with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Ingredients

Rib Roast

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 semi boneless rib roast (this one was appx 7 lbs, I want to say?)
  • sea salt and pepper for sprinkling
  • 2 bunches fresh sage (or, if you’re me, a whole bunch of ground sage)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 c red wine
  • 2 c chicken or beef stock (I used chicken)

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

  • 4 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 T fresh ground pepper
  • 6 oz gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • sea salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 450. Take your olive oil, and heat it in a large pan on high. Once warmed, sear each end of the rib roast, about 4 to 5 minutes a side, until nicely browned. 

In a roasting pan, mix together your stock and red wine, and add your sliced onion. Lay the roast on top of the onion, and then drizzle with the remaining olive oil, placing your sea salt, pepper, and sage to taste on the roast. Cover the roast with foil, and then roast at 450 for about 20 to 25 mins, and then reduce the heat to 350, roasting for another hour and a half (to get to rare). Here and there throughout the roasting, baste the roast with the wine/stock/juices mix. For the last half hour, remove the foil. 

In the last ten minutes or so, heat the butter, olive oil, and garlic over medium heat, cooking until the garlic is fragrant and soft, and just a bit caramelized, about five minutes. Add the white wine in and cook until reduced by a third, another fiveish minutes. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and gorgonzola, melting until you have a smooth sauce. Then, add in your pepper, a bit of sea salt to taste, and remove from heat.

Once your roast is removed, let cool for about fifteen to twenty minutes, serve with the gorgonzola sauce, and enjoy!

This is a neat little recipe. Didn’t really notice that it was billed as “skinny”, but eh. The recipes in the original are a little vague, so I tried to spell things out as much as possible. Nice, hearty recipe, though. 

Chicken Saltimbocca
Makes however many chicken breasts you use

Ingredients

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts (either packaged, or however many you may want to get if you have a good meat counter)
  • sea salt 
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sage leaves (didn’t have any, used a liberal dash of ground sage per breast)
  • slices of prosciutto (get as many as you have chicken breasts)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • .25 c white wine (I used Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food)
  • .5 c chicken stock
  • 4 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T capers
  • .5 T butter

Season your chicken with sea salt and fresh-ground pepper. If you have the sage leaves, take two leaves, and if you don’t, season both sides with ground sage. Wrap the prosciutto slice around the chicken breast, and secure with a toothpick, securing the sage leaves if using just under where the slice ends meet. 

Heat your olive oil in a large skillet over medium high, and sear the wrapped chicken for six to ten minutes a side, until golden brown and the prosciutto is crispy. (Original recipe recommends shorter and lower temp, but that doesn’t get it done all the way through.)  Remove to whatever you will be serving/storing the chicken in.

Deglaze the pan with your white wine, and then add your chicken stock, lemon juice, and capers, bringing to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half (about 6 to 8 mins), and then add in your .5 T of butter, and cook until melted and the sauce has thickened a bit, an additional 2 to 3 mins. If it’s not thickening enough, throw a dash of corn starch in. 

Then, pour the sauce over the chicken, and nom!

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.

This is another recipe from one of the cookbooks I got recently, A Girl and Her Pig.  The recipes in here are all sorts of fantastic and simple, kind of English country cooking, and honestly, if I go out to NYC again anytime soon, I definitely want to eat at one of her restaurants.

All you really need for this is six ingredients: tomatoes, shallots, butter, white wine, sea salt, and garlic, but the result smells absolutely fantastic while it’s simmering/stewing.  The original recipe recommends saffron as well, but honestly, I don’t have the money for saffron (and if you do, come let me be your live-in cook), so I skipped it.  

Tomatoes Stewed With White Wine
Lasts 4 meals as a side

Ingredients

  • 1.25 lbs ripe tomatoes (I went with 5 medium tomatoes)
  • 4 T butter
  • 3 shallots, chopped finely
  • 4 small cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • .75 c dry white wine (I went with Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food)
  • sea salt to taste

To prepare your tomatoes, use the same technique that I posted about in the tomato-basil-feta soup and mizra ghasemi recipes – which, as it turns out, is called blanching.  Cut a small x on the bottom of your tomatoes, and prepare two pots, one set to boiling, and the other with ice cold water.  As soon as the first pot boils, add your tomatoes, and let rest for one minute, before adding them directly to the ice cold water.  This will take care of most of the peeling for you. Once you’ve peeled the tomatoes, core them and then quarter them, squeezing them gently to remove the seeds and juice.  Then, chop the quarters in half.

Meanwhile, empty your pot of the boiling water, and then add the butter, letting it melt and froth a little bit over low heat.  Add your chopped shallots and garlic, along with a generous dash of sea salt.  Cook the shallots are very soft, and reduce the heat if necessary to avoid them browning. This should take about ten minutes or so; I used this time to prep the tomatoes starting from the peeling forward.

Add your white wine, increase the heat to medium, and bring the mixture to a boil.  Add your tomatoes, give everything a good stir, and then bring to a simmer, and lower the heat to about medium-low to maintain that simmer just barely. Cook, but don’t stir, about six minutes, until the tomatoes are tender, but not mushy.  Add another T of sea salt, stir, and enjoy!

This is one of those recipes when you’re looking for something nice and simple, but with an amazing taste.  Plus, wine + fish + herbs = you can’t go wrong, generally.  Also, quite quick to make.  Really, not too many ways you can go wrong here.

Simple White Wine Poached Salmon
Lasts 2-3 lunches as a main course

Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon, either in filets or in one big cut
  • .5 c white wine (I used Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food)
  • .5 c water
  • 1 t butter
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (I used ground, did a few dashes)
  • .25 c fresh basil leaves

Combine your white wine, water, and herbs, and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Once simmering, add your salmon skin side down (accidentally did it flesh side down for a few minutes, whoops), cover with a lid, and cook between five to ten minutes, depending on how done you want it.  I did 7 minutes, that got it the equivalent of medium rare.