Asparagus Risotto

On April 27, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love risotto.  It is incredibly flexible where a wide variety of combinations can combine to create some amazing dishes.  In fact, last month when I was in Chicago for work I was in a cooking competition. Our team had flank steak, bell peppers, and potatoes as our ingredients. I led our team choosing between a Southwest or Asian flavored plate. We chose Southwest and went witha beer marinated flank steak, roasted potatoes and to top everything off stuffed bell peppers.

I had found some risotto, cilantro, tomatoes and onions that we used to stuff the peppers with then topping them with a slice of Manchego cheese. One of my coworkers had never made risotto and so I worked with her on adding chicken stock to the risotto and she came away proud she made it for the first time. Hopefully, she tried doing it again at work.

Here’s a video of my sharing our team’s creation that evening.

We came in second behind the creative team that had a couple food bloggers. Plus they had chicken, asparagus, and potatoes for their ingredients. Flank steak takes a lot longer to flavor so it was difficult getting something that would challenge the chicken option; though, that team did a great job with a wonderful balsamic vinegar sauce.

It was a fun evening an another example of how versatile risotto can be.

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Tonight though I wanted a simple though flavorful risotto for dinner.  I found some great asparagus at Erewhon market in Los Angeles this afternoon.  Perfect for a risotto.

 

Asparagus Risotto

Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 30 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked risotto
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Parmasen cheese
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cooked
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. In a stockpot heat the butter on medium-high heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes until the onion is translucent and do not burn the garlic. Pour in the white wine and add risotto.
  2. Let the risotto absorb the white wine and then cook the risotto adding the vegetable stock 1 cup at a time and continue stirring. Each time let the risotto cook absorbing the stock and add more stock as the liquid cooks away. Eventually after all the vegetable stock has been added taste the risotto. It should be soft. If necessary add another 1/2 cup of broth or water.
  3. Add the cooked asparagus and Parmesan cheese. Mix together and cook with cooked risotto for 1 minute.
  4. Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese and sourdough bread.
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Vegan Paella

On March 16, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Paella is one of my absolute favorite dishes.  Of course, I’m talking more about a traditional Spanish Paella full of shrimp and sausage.  This vegetarian take on Paella from a new cookbook I received for my birthday last month, takes a vegan attempt at this classic dish. I skipped the setan meat substitute which was probably a mistake, but my wife and I just don’t care for the fake meat-like substances.

The dish is a combination of cooked vegetables that are then added to a pot of saffron flavored risotto.  The combination provides great flavor and it is a dish worthy of making again; however, it’s the Paella attribution that bothers me here.

Personally, I just don’t think anything without shrimp and sausage can be called Paella, even with the fake meat-like substitutes. So I like to see this dish as a good vegetable and rice dish.  Seeing it through that lens makes it a great option for a Meatless Monday dish or a night when you need to take a break from a real Paella.

Full the Recipe see the Amazon cookbook’s page (Editorial Review Section) as it is published there in its entirety: Vegan Paella

 

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Butternut Squash Risotto

On December 3, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Alright I have a confession, I’m really a pathetic food blogger. Basically all I do is checkout Emily Levenson’s food blog, make what she makes, take a couple photos and then link to her site.  If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, you should be following Emily’s blog. (You should keep reading mine too, since I do occasionally make things not from her blog that I hope you think are worth trying.)

Tonight I had a butternut squash waiting all week on my counter until I got around to making this recipe.  It really turns out to be a richly colorful dish.  The orange risotto is a thing of beauty and I’m debating what to do with the leftovers after tonight.  I’m leaning toward some cider baked chicken breasts atop my leftover risotto.

This evening we stayed vegetarian and paired this dish with a salad.  Together it made for a great vegan meal.

For the recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

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