Saturday, February 16, 2008


Mock risotto (recipe in the comments)
Arugula salad with grapefruit

Hot tea
Valentine chocolates (J)
Karmel sutra ice cream (M)
M and I love risotto, but don't love the attention-intensive time it takes to prepare or the typical load of fat in most recipes. We're always on the lookout for ways to make risotto-like recipes without this major detractors. This is our latest shot, from Eating Well, and it was AMAZING. Such creamy goodness! Such rich flavoring! Such a LONG recipe to make. Sad, but not Eating Well's fault. The original recipe called for Instant brown rice and would have taken about 25 minutes to make total. We couldn't find it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's and went with normal brown basmati rice, using less rice and more liquid. Thus, the long cooking time. We plan to make this again SOON and go to a normal grocery store and get the faster cooking rice. We hope to replicate our fantastic results and will keep you posted, and will include the faster recipe if it works out. I am also excited because you could very easily use any vegetables you had to change the tenor of the dish, adding them a bit earlier for denser veggies (beets) or later for more tender items (peas, leafy greens). M liked this with just a taste of balsamic drizzled on top (a technique we first enjoyed on our honeymoon, subtitled "M and J eat Italy", over a lovely pumpkin risotto), but J liked it best plain.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Moderate
Chopping: Onion, garlic, pepper, asparagus
Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes or so unattended
Make ahead:

J: "Can I die and go straight to risotto heaven????"
M: "Mmmmmmmmmmmm..."

1 comment:

J said...

Mock Risotto – Eating Well
Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ cups brown long grain rice
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch pieces (or one 12 - 16 oz pack of frozen asparagus defrosted in the microwave (with a bit of water) for 2 minutes, and chopped)
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
½ cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese (no more)
½ cup chopped scallions

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until soft and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add rice and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes.

Remove cover and spread asparagus and bell pepper on top of the simmering rice - do not stir into the rice mixture. Replace cover and continue simmering, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the asparagus is bright green but still crisp, about 5 minutes.

Add peas and cream cheese; stir until the mixture is creamy and the cheese is incorporated. Return to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, about 3-5 minutes more. Stir in Asiago (or Parmesan) and scallions.