Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dinner Tonight: Leek, Bacon and Pea Risotto plus 2 bonus recipes

I think that the first time I made risotto was back in 1999. At the time, it was pretty intimidating. All that stirring! It was the first time I'd made anything on top of the stove that needed so much attention for such a sustained time. But over the past decade I've lost my fear of this creamy rice dish and have made it in many different iterations. Tonight's version, Leek, Bacon and Pea Risotto, comes from the October issue of Everyday Food. It's scaled to make more than you'd need for a single meal, since leftovers go towards a second recipe (which I plan to make tomorrow night).

Tonight, I cut the amount of broth, arborio rice and parmesan cheese in half, left the full recipe amounts of bacon, wine and lemon juice, and increased the amount of peas from 3/4 cup to a full 10 ounce package (because who needs a partial package of frozen peas hanging out in their freezer?). And I definitely have enough left for tomorrow's secondary meal. Mr. Fritz commented a couple of times that he really liked the finished dish, much to my delight.

The key to making risotto without losing your mind is to heat up the broth on a separate burner. That way when you mix it into the risotto a cup at a time, it won't take as long to be absorbed. This cuts down the amount of time you'll find yourself standing at the stove stirring and stirring, which is a very good thing. (And that's a tip I don't think I learned until 2001...) In any case. this was good and I expect I will make it again!

Bonus recipes: Today was a bacon kind of day. For lunch I made Tomato Soup with Cheese and Bacon Toasties. The soup was pretty quick to pull together and the "toasties" were pretty much grilled cheese mini sandwiches with bacon amidst the cheese. Delish!

And I didn't get a chance to post this previously, but Thursday night I made Almond Chicken, adapted from an Everyday Food recipe for Cashew Chicken. It was particularly tasty - they labeled it "Eat Out At Home" and it definitely qualified as a really nice at-home version of Chinese take out. Mr. Fritz loved this - it will definitely make a repeat appearance. I served it with rice and green beans. I forgot about the green beans till I was done with the chicken and so I ended up throwing them into the same skillet and stir frying them with a little bit of soy sauce and rice vinegar. They were great!

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