Rice


There is just something about risotto. It’s not easy to make. Well, it’s easy, it just takes a while. All the stirring and adding broth and stirring. But with the right combination of flavors it is well worth the effort. And this risotto was well worth the effort.

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This is Julie Shafer’s Risotto with Lemon and Asparagus

Julie says she learned to make risotto as a small girl cooking with her mother, grandmother, and aunts.  While we think of risotto as something fancy, she says it is just a staple of Italian cooking.  She also suggests that this is just a basic recipe and any local, seasonal veggie can be used.

    2 lemons
    2 small bundles asparagus
    1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    2 tsp unsalted butter
    2 Tbl olive oil
    2 cups Arboio or Carnaroli rice
    2 – 3 quarts homemade or low-sodium store bought chicken broth, heated.

Zest the lemons then juice them and strain the juice.

Prepare the asparagus by peeling {which I did not do} and cutting off the tough ends.  Cut into 1″ pieces and steam to crisp.  {I am not a fan of steamed asparagus so I sauteed mine lightly in a little butter until just done.}

Sautee the onion in butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  The onions should be fragrant and transparent.  Add in the rice and stir until the rice is well coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  {Salt and pepper are NOT in the recipe so I seasoned lightly and then later seasoned to taste.} Cook until the grains are almost clear.

Add the hot broth in to the rice/onion mix one ladle at at time and stir until it is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is ALMOST creamy.

Add in the lemon juice, zest, steamed asparagus and one last addition of broth.  Cook for one additional minute.

Remove from the heat and add in the Parmesan to taste.  Add additional Salt and Pepper if needed. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes then serve.

Garnish with shaved Parmesan (optional)

This was really good.  I think I would use a little less lemon juice next time because I think it tended to overpower the asparagus.  You many not need a full 3 quarts of the broth.  I made 1/2 of the recipe and did not used a full 4 cups.

This is definitely a repeat.  I can imagine how it good it will be with different mushrooms, or maybe some spinach, or even just different cheeses.  It is very adaptable.

The recipe is on page 639 of O’Niel’s One Big Table,  an eclectic  collection of recipes from home cooks around the United States.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

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One Big Table is full of what you could call every day recipes.  Favorite or ethnic dishes from everyday people around the United States. Many of the recipes I have marked are “out of the box’ for me but many are different variations of dishes I already make.  Like this one from Lonnie Holley in Harpersville, AL.  Lonnie is an artist whose work has been exhibited in several famous galleries or museums.  He says Jambalaya is a good thing to think about if you need to feed lots of people.  You can always add more rice.

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2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 whole chicken legs, cut apart to make drumsticks and thighs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon fat
1 quart water
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce (preferably Tabasco) {I used Crystal Hot Sauce}
2 cups white rice
6 cups homemade chicken broth or low-sodium. store-bought chicken broth .
4 Andouille sausages (about 1 pound), sliced in 1/4 inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the spices in a jar and mix well. Use 1 tablespoon of this spice blend in a big bowl to season the shrimp and chicken. (The remainder can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.) {I made 1/2 the amount and used all of it.}
Cover and chill for an hour or two.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring constantly, until the shells are bright pink. Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the water is reduced to half, about 15 minutes. Strain the broth and set aside. {I didn’t do this and just used all chicken broth instead. If you can find Seafood Broth, use that.}
Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Remove the chicken and shrimp from the refrigerator. Brown the chicken on all sides.
Add the onion, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and celery, one by one and stir after each addition. Sautee for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Add the tomato, bay leaves, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add the rice and stir. Add 2·cups of the strained shrimp broth, if using, and the chicken broth to the rice. {If you are using just chicken broth use 6 cups.} Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Add the shrimp and sausage, salt, pepper, and the left over spice blend to taste. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes more, until the rice is tender.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately. (Recipe adapted)
While this was a little spicier than I expected even tho’ I decreased the amount of Cayenne to 1/4 of what was called for, it was quite tasty. I love the mix of chicken, shrimp, and sausage in the Jambalaya. Definitely a keeper.
This recipe is on page 626 of One Big Table.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

It’s a new month which means using anew cookbook for a month.  One that I don’t cook from often enough.  Last month I used Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen . This month I am going a different route.  A MAGAZINE!   Now, wait!  I cleared it first with Joyce.  She said she considered cooking magazines as mini cookbooks.  Done!!  I’ve got my next ‘book’.

Here in Louisiana we have stupendous cuisine.  African.  Native American. French. German. British. Spanish.  This is a state that has had many ‘rulers’ over the years and each one added their spin to the cuisine.

North Louisiana food is different from South Louisiana. The Prairies serve different food from the Coastal areas.  And Central Louisiana, where I live, is a mish/mash of all of it. Lucky us!

I didn’t grow up in Louisiana even though I was born here so I never really learned to cook ‘our’ dishes.  But now, I am learning.  So I subscribe to a mag called Louisiana  Cookin‘ which also has a web site with some of the RECIPES  I will be sending out this month.  You really need to check them out.

Ready for some Louisiana Cuisine?

How about

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Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish that is basically Spanish and French.  It is, but it isn’t a chicken and rice dish.  It is similar to a Paella.  Actually it IS paella but the Spanish in New Orleans couldn’t locate some of their familiar ingredients so they adapted.   It usually contains the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking: onion, celery, and green bell pepper.  There is also usually chicken, and sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as Andouille. Some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, crawfish, or shrimp is also included.

The Atakapa Indians are responsible for the name.  The original word “Sham, pal ha! Ya!” means “Be full, not skinny! Eat Up!”. Spanish influence resulted in the current spelling of the name

The recipe is on the Louisiana Cookin’ website so I won’t include it here. But the ingredients include:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

2 pounds boneless-skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1-inch cubes

1½ cups chopped onion

1½ cups chopped celery

1½ cups chopped green bell pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups long-grain rice

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

5 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 fresh bay leaves

1½ pounds large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Garnish: chopped green onion

You really need to make this.  Really!  It is a wonderful example of Louisiana Cookin’!

The recipe is from the September/October issue.  Page 46

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

cookbookcountdown

Who said salad has to made from greens or pasta?  What about rice?  Brown rice?  When Kayte chose Sensational Salads for this weeks WWDH theme the first thought that came to mind was a GREEN salad.  And that is what I looked for – at first – but then I thought about pasta salad, potato salad, even fruit salad.  Rice never really entered my mind until I found Donna’s recipe with brown rice and salmon.

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And I am so glad I did.  Full of Asian flavors, salmon, carrots.  It was wonderful.

Simply cook brown rice.  Mix it with some flaked salmon, shredded carrots and a dressing of mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and ginger and you have a lovely, filling, tasty salad suitable for lunch or dinner.

Donna’s recipe called for smoked salmon but I used some steamed salmon instead.  I also didn’t have the snow peas she called for but I didn’t miss them.  The salad is supposed to be served totally chilled but I am not a fan of cold rice so I served it warmed.  Good choice!

I will definitely make this one again.  Glad I made extra rice!

The recipe is on Donna’s website.

Did the others go green with salads?  Check our links.

This was the last week to cook with Chef Jacques Pepin. It has been quite a fun 6 months trying so many of his wonderful recipes. Some of the dishes I made included:

Looking back I see that most of the dishes I made were sides. And that is usually what I have the most trouble deciding on with meals. Pepin made it easy. So I decided to say goodbye with just one more.

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    Risotto with Vegetables

Which was delicious. So full of vegetables it is almost a meal in itself.

    1 cup of chopped peeled asparagus
    1 cup of frozen peas
    1 cup of julienned mushrooms
    1 cup of diced red (or orange) bell pepper
    2/3 cup chopped fennel

all mixed into a creamy risotto.

Pepin does his risotto a different way than I am used to. Usually one adds some broth a bit at a time and stir, stir, stir, stir until the rice is creamy. But Pepin sautees the cup of Arborio rice in butter and olive oil then adds 2 1/2 cups of the broth cooking only about 12 minutes and only stirring 2 or 3 times while keeping it on covered over medium heat. The last cup of broth is added with ALL the veggies {except the fennel which he added earlier} and cooks uncovered for another 5 minutes. This means of course that you aren’t completely tied to the stove cooking the risotto. And then, right before you serve it – add about 1/4 cup grated Parm. Perfect risotto!! And perfectly DELICIOUS.

The recipe is from Pepin’s Jacques Pepin’s Table on page 163. Also, there is a VIDEO where he makes this risotto along with some other dishes.

Stop by the IHCC webpage for more Au Revoir Chef Pepin Dishes.

Risotto seems to be a very popular dish lately. Last week we had a Tomato, Basil, and Parmesan Risotto. This week we made a risotto that we didn’t need to stand and stir for a while. Instead this was a baked risotto. Just 40 minutes after putting a bowl of arborio rice and chicken broth into the oven it was done except for adding the feta, spinach, Parmesan, and pine nuts. It was moist. It was full of flavor and I didn’t have to stir it once.

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The saltiness of the feta along with the crunch of the pine nuts made for a wonderful dish. I would advise to check the risotto before the 40 minutes is up. Mine was almost overcooked. Baking the risotto is a perfect way to have risotto and still have time to cook your dinner without having to worry.

I made only 1/2 of the recipe but had plenty for 4 servings.

The recipe is on Donna’s Website. Thanks to Chaya for this lovely risotto pick this week. If you want to join us just leave a comment on Wednesdays with Donna Hay. The recipes for the next two months are there as well as links for the other’s blog posts. Go on over and visit and see how they liked the risotto.

One of my favorite dishes to cook is risotto. At least now that I know how. It took several, and I mean SEVERAL, tries to finally get it right but now it is often in the meal rotation as a side. When it came time for me to pick a recipe for this week I went straight for this risotto.

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And I was not disappointed in the flavor. The eggplant, which I fried in a grilling pan, did get a little soggy, but they were flavorful. And the risotto was a little different as it had more wine and some tomato puree in it rather than just wine and broth. I think it was a little heavy and I will try and lighten it up a little next time. But it was good.

The recipe is on page 93 of Donna’s New Food Fast.

What did GAye, Sarah, Kayte, Chaya, and Peggy think? Visit our new website …

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