Mushroom risotto

This recipe was made for my 2007 Holiday Party featuring an Italian inspired menu. You can read about it and view the additional recipes I made for this event HERE.

Mushroom risotto

4 cups of chicken broth

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups arborio rice
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated asiago cheese.

In a saute pan, coat the bottom with olive oil.

Add sliced mushrooms and minced garlic; saute.
When the mushrooms have caramelized, add the rice.
Stir rice to coat and slightly toast up.
Add 1 cup of beef broth to the rice and stir.
Allow liquid to reduce before adding 1 cup at a time; stirring continuously.
Continue to add broth until all is used or until rice reaches a creamy consistency.
When rice is just about done, fold in the cheese.

Season with salt & pepper to taste.

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Autumn in my Kitchen

I love the fall weather! To celebrate the first weekend of fall-like weather here in Chicago, I prepared maple braised pork ribs which I served with a butternut squash risotto.

Here is my recipe for the maple braised pork ribs, which is versatile enough for making in both a crockpot or conventional oven:

1-2 lbs pork ribs
maple rub (recipe below)

Maple Rub
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
splash of worchestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Combine above ingredients in a bowl.
Consistency will slightly clumpy and paste like.
Coat pork ribs with this paste using your hands – a basting brush isn’t as effective.
Place coated pork in a dutch oven or shallow baking pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 3-4 hours OR
Place coated pork in your crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.

I served this with a butternut squash risotto, using a jarred butternut squash puree which I got from Wiliams Sonoma.

When I made my basic risotto recipe, I used chicken broth and about 1/2 cup of the puree I stirred in while my risotto cooked. I also added 2 cloves of minced garlic, finely chopped small onion and a few springs of fresh thyme leaves.

Spinach risotto

Spinach risotto

4 cups chicken broth**
1 1 /2 cups arborio rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
salt & pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, coat the bottom with olive oil over medium heat.
Add rice to pan and allow to toast up for a few minutes.
When rice has turned slightly golden, add 1/2 – 1 cup of broth.
Allow rice to absorb the broth and stir.
Continue to add small amounts of broth slowly to the rice when its been absorbed.
When all the liquid has been used, fold in spinach.

Check for doneness and serve.

** I used a chicken base from Sams Club to make chicken broth.

Weeknight Steaknight

Who says steak is only for special occassions or weekends? In our house, steak is great for anyday of the week!This past week has been an uneventful one in my kitchen. With my husband’s new school schedule, he’s in class during the evenings. As a result, I’ve been unmotivated to cook up anything really blogworthy. However tonight, I’m really proud of how my husband has been juggling work and school. So I made him a special steak dinner to come home to.Tonight’s dinner is a simple one of grilled steaks seasoned with pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. To accompany it, I made a mushroom & spinach risotto.Here’s my recipe for mushroom & spinach risotto:

1-2 tablespoons beef base
4 cups of hot water
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup frozen or 2 cup fresh spinach

In a saucepan, heat water and beef base until base is dissolved for beef broth.
In a saute pan, coat the bottom with olive oil.
Add sliced mushrooms and minced garlic; saute.
When the mushrooms have caramelized, add the rice.
Stir rice to coat and slightly toast up.
Add 1 cup of beef broth to the rice and stir.
Allow liquid to reduce before adding 1 cup at a time; stirring continuously.
Continue to add broth until all is used or until rice reaches a creamy consistency.
When rice is just about done, fold in the spinach.
Season with salt & pepper to taste.

* I used a jarred beef base I got at Sams Club. You can substitute it with beef broth if you prefer.

Parmesan Risotto

Parmesan Risotto
(with mushrooms & spinach)

1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen, drained chopped spinach
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
olive oil or butter

– In pan, saute garlic in olive oil or butter.
– Add rice and stir to coat with oil/butter.
– Add white wine and reduce.
– Add 1 cup of beef broth and stir until reduced.
– Continue to add 1 cup of broth at a time until it is all reduced.
– Stir in mushrooms and spinach, cook until heated through.
– Add cheese and a touch of half & half. Stir.
– Remove from heat and let it sit for 2 minutes before serving.