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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Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole #SundaySupper

On January 15, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is what I was going to make for last week’s #SundaySupper theme celebrating the One Year Anniversary of what “Family Foodie” Isabel started out as a friendly twitter conversation talking about what people were cooking on Sunday evenings.

I loved the early chats, since Sunday was a guaranteed day I’d be in the kitchen when the weekend came to a close. See our family eats mostly home cooked meals. We don’t do a lot of dining out. Mostly because we like to choose where are food is from, plus it helps I’m not a bad cook. So a lot of what I make is similar or better than what we get at most restaurants. Of course, it is also a great way to reduce our monthly costs even if do buy mostly local and organic. That’s still cheaper than dining out.

The Sunday Supper crowd grew from a few of tweeting our cooking accomplishments to now being a group of over 100 bloggers who contribute a post for each week’s Sunday Supper theme.  Last week everyone chose a recipe from a past Sunday Supper theme.  Sadly I came down with the flu on Friday and had my worst day on Saturday. I was all set to make my recipe and write a blog post, but my wife looked at me and told me ‘no, you’re not cooking tonight.’  So she made spaghetti and I went back to the living room to rest.

It’s Tuesday night and with all the ingredients still fresh and ready for me to make, I knew tonight would be the night I’d finally have a chance to try this casserole out. I had eyed it back in November when Katy from Happy Baking Days shared this amazing looking dish with the Sunday Supper group. Glad I did. It is an amazing dish, sort of a vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe since I forgot I had spilled my bag of dried lentils the week before, I went with canned. Also, I had a small amount of tomato past to make the base a little richer. The original recipe is great too so don’t feel you need to adjust, unless you too spill lentils all over your kitchen floor and forget to restock.

Original Recipe: [Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole for #SundaySupper]

Carrot, Parsnip and Lentil Casserole
Serves 4-6

1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 carrots, thick bite-size chop
2 parsnips, thick cubes
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 15-oz can lentils, drain
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, do not drain
1 tsp concentrated tomato paste
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp ginger
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4 white potatoes, peeled
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter
Grated cheese, I used raw cheddar

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Heat a pan on medium-high heat with the olive oil, onion, and garlic for about 4 minutes or until translucent, not burnt. Then add the parsnips, carrots and salt and pepper to taste. Let that cook in the pan for about 3 minutes and then add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, lentils, kidney beans and spices and cook for 10 minutes at a slightly bubbling simmer.

While the vegetables are simmering, cook the the potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and add milk and butter and mash potatoes. Set aside.

Pour the vegetable mixture into a casserole dish. Flatten and then add several mounds of mashed potatoes.  Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle mounds of potatoes with cheese and increase oven to 400 degrees and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops of potatoes brown.

Remove from oven and serve.

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Here are the other recipes from last week’s bloggers celebrating the One Year Anniversary of SundaySupper. Congrats again Isabel!

Sunday Supper Appetizers:

 Sunday Supper Soups and Breads:

 Sunday Supper Main Dishes: 

Sunday Supper Veggies: 

Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks: 

 Sunday Supper Breakfast Faves:

Sunday Supper Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Corn Chowder

On August 26, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been awhile since I’ve spent some time on one of my favorite blogs: Emily Levenson. Perhaps it has a lot to do with all the change around here after leaving AT&T and Texas then getting our family settled here in Southern California, not that we are quite settled yet. I write this as we are about to get ready to go the beach instead of unpacking.

We did do some unpacking yesterday. It also gave me some time to do some cooking.

I love chowder, especially corn chowder, so when I saw Emily had a recipe for it that received some great comments.

Plus I had some sweet white corn and japanese sweet potatoes from the farmers market.

My version here looks less orange due to the white corn and lightly inside of the Japanese sweet potatoes. The flavor was really sweet and flavorful. I think next time though I’ll use a more traditional sweet potato which is not as sugary as the type I went with this time.

For the Full Recipe: Corn Chowder.

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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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Udon Noodles with Vegetables

Grown-up Top Ramen: Udon Noodels and Vegetables

On September 20, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Udon Noodles with Vegetables

Quick and Easy Top Ramen for Grown-ups

We were coming back from an early evening photo shoot for the boys. Stephanie bought a deal on Living Social and we spent some time out at Arbor Hills Park in Plano. It was the typical rush from work, get caught in some traffic, and then come back home get the kids ready for bed and finally have a moment to make dinner.  Fortunately, I had a simple recipe from the {Custom Made} Life blog.

Preparing the vegetables

Cooking some sweet potato and carrots

Basically take a few vegetables, some udon (or soba) noodles, and make a broth.  People who do not cook can cook this. I promise.

Best part it’s really quite tasty and hit the spot after all of our evening running around and it only took 15 minutes to make.

Chickpea Miso

Really impressed with this chickpea based Miso concentrate

It was also the first time I used a chickpea based Miso concentrate from Whole Foods. It’s a bit pricey at $10 a jar but I have to say it really added a great flavor to the broth; though, I’m sure a package miso from the asian food aisle is fine too.

For the full recipe, please visit: Recipe: Udon Noodle Soup

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