Showing posts with label risotto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label risotto. Show all posts

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fisherman's Risotto

Good morning and Happy Monday to you!!!

Today I am excited to share my favorite recipe of all time with you! This is what I usually order whenever I go out to an Italian seafood restaurant and is a big favorite of mine.

I really enjoy making risotto's and I've shared some recipes with you before. Here is my pumpkin risotto recipe and here you can find my asparagus risotto.

Using just one main ingredient for a risotto (like porcini mushrooms, asparagus or even spinach) makes things a lot easier because the cooking time doesn't vary; but when you're using more than one ingredient and especially when using seafood, you have to be extra careful with the different cooking times.

Ingredients for 4 people:

 - 300 grams of uncooked white rice
 - 500 grams of mussels
 - 500 grams of clams
 - 1 fresh calamari
 - 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
 - 1 shallot
 - 1 tablespoon of butter
 - 1 litre of vegetable stock
 - one  spoonful of fresh chopped parsley
 - pepper to taste

Start by preparing the calamari. Rinse it well and cut into small pieces. You don't have to be precise here but keep in mind that they shrink a bit while cooking.

Next prepare the mussels and clams by cooking them on medium heat as done in my Seafood Cavatelli recipe.   Remove the shells and filter the juice with a sifter and napkin to catch any sand that is inside the fresh clams. Set aside.

Now that you have prepared your ingredients, you can heat the chopped up shallot in olive oil until translucent. 

Next add the calamari and let that cook for a couple minutes making sure to stir continuously. Then add the rice.

Let the rice heat up a bit in the skillet then proceed by adding a couple ladles of stock. When you see the rice start to dry up add another ladle and so forth.

Again, the secret to a great risotto is to give it time and let the broth absorb into the ingredients. Check the cooking time indicated for the rice you are cooking with and at the half way point add the mussel and clam juice. 

Taste the rice as you add the broth so you make sure not to overcook it. When the rice is almost done and you can feel it is still a bit firm (usually after 12-14 minutes) add the mussels and clams. Turn off the heat and add the butter and parsley. Keep stirring and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Add some pepper if you wish...but no salt is necessary.

If you like seafood, I hope you'll give this a try. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

I wish you all a great week ahead :-)

Linking to:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Asparagus Risotto

I realize that I don't post a lot of gluten free recipes and that's simply because it's not something that I pay much attention to in my cooking. This is something that I am grateful for because I know quite a few people that are affected by celiac disease and it is not something that should be taken lightly. A cousin of mine was actually diagnosed with celiac disease in his late 40's and he has eaten pasta and pizza for pretty much his whole life. All of a sudden he began having terrible stomach pains and was not able to keep anything down and no one could figure out what was wrong until they ran some tests and found he suffered from celiac disease. It's funny, well not actually funny, but you know what I mean, when he was getting sick his wife and mother kept giving him vegetable broth with small pasta or pastina which is what is typically given in Italy to those who have the stomach flu or some sort of virus and must eat light. So the more they gave him this pastina the sicker he got and no one understood why.

I'm sure you can imagine that it's a little complicated trying to eat gluten free in this country. I don't think there is any other country in the world that loves its gluten as much as Italy does. Eating out becomes a real problem because from what I understand cross contamination is the biggest issue. Not so much the ingredients but the mixing of utensils that carry gluten on them for example using the same spoon that you used for boiling pasta in a gluten free dish contaminates that dish and the person gets sick.

When I was in the States this past April, I noticed that every menu had a choice of gluten free meals that you could choose from. Here it's not that prevalent unfortunately. Italy has been getting better accustomed to gluten free eating but not nearly as much as the States has. Most first course dishes are pasta based and many second courses are usually breaded or floured. One first course that is almost always gluten free is risotto. I've posted a Pumpkin risotto recipe before and I'm proud to say that I make a pretty spectacular risotto. So I added a gluten free label to my blog posts so that any readers I have that don't eat gluten aren't immediately turned off by my blog title...

The procedure is pretty much the same for most risottos. The main ingredient varies but the process is the same. I almost always use organic vegetable broth. When I do risottos with seafood I sometimes will use a fish based broth but for the most part vegetable is my go to broth. I always add a teaspoon of butter in the end and if not seafood based, I always add parmesan cheese. I saw a funny post on Instagram the other day and it basically sums up my feelings on parmesan cheese...

So this asparagus risotto is another one of my favorites and I'm happy to note that it is gluten free!

Gather your ingredients together (serves 2):

 - one cup of rice
 - about 15 asparagus stalks
 - a cup of parmesan cheese
 - one small onion
 - about a liter of vegetable stock
 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil
 - one teaspoon of butter
 - salt and pepper to taste

Cut up the asparagus in small rounds leaving the tips intact and discarding the white stems.

Sauté the onion in olive oil and add the asparagus. Simmer with some white wine and after about 10 minutes remove the tips and place to the side. The tips are much softer than the rest of the stem and you don't want to overcook them.  We will add them again during the last 5 minutes.

Add the rice and begin adding the broth a couple ladles at a time and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the tips of the asparagus, the parmesan, butter and pepper. Taste to see if it needs more salt and make sure not to overcook the rice or else it will get mushy. 

That's pretty much it! Now you have yourself an exquisite gluten free ....and vegetarian....Italian first course dish :-) Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Decorations and Pumpkin Risotto

Today is officially Fall!! It's still a little too warm here for my liking but slowly the temperature has been getting cooler....very SLOWLY...

I started adding some fall decorations to my living room area and I love how just a few touches of autumn colors are able to create such a romantic and welcoming atmosphere. Here are a few pictures:

On my coffee table I originally had just the lavender in the vase but the other day I saw the most beautiful silk flowers with autumn colors and leaves at a craft store and I immediately put them in my cart and added them to the vase. I think they look beautiful together.  I didn't plan on adding them to the lavender but in the end I think they make the bouquet look fuller and richer. I'm loving the combination.

Then on my dining room table I added some fall leaves I already had to the candle holders that I bought from Marshall's when I was in the States. That is pretty much the extent of my decorating...I know, breathtaking right? :-)
Ok, ok I have something a little more interesting to share with you today than fake flowers...Continuing with the Fall theme, today I will give you my Pumpkin Risotto recipe which I looooove so much and cannot get enough of. This is also the first risotto recipe I share on the blog which is one of my favorite first course dishes to prepare. I surprised myself the first time I made it. When I prepare a new recipe for the first time, I get quite intimidated and never think it will turn out well for some reason. Sometimes it does others it doesn't. The bread I made for the first time was fantastic for example but then last night I tried to make a chocolate soufflé and it was a complete and total disaster...
Anyhoo, the first risotto I made turned out delicious. Each time after that was even better. There are some things I'm better at and others not so much. I am proud to say that my risotto's are the bomb!
Pumpkin Risotto:
Start by cutting about 2 cups of fresh pumpkin flesh into small cubes and in a separate pot bring 1 liter of water to a boil and add one organic vegetable bouillion cube. Some say to add 2 bouillion cubes to 1 liter but I prefer adding just one because I add salt and parmesan cheese later on in the recipe and this way I don't run the risk of the risotto being too salty. I also like to use organic bouillion cubes which I think makes a difference in the taste.

In a large pan or a wok, sauté one finely chopped shallot in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until translucent. Add the diced pumpkin and mix well making sure to coat the pumpkin with the olive oil and shallot.  After about 2-3 minutes simmer with a half a cup of dry white wine until reduced.

After the wine has evaporated, add about one cup of rice. One cup of uncooked rice will double when cooked so you get about 2 servings.

You want to stir in the rice and let it "toast" a bit in the pan - this will only take about 2 minutes but make sure you keep stirring. You want to start warming up the rice and get it ready for the hot broth you will be adding shortly. The key to a good risotto is to never leave it unattended. You need to keep stirring and stirring and stirring so that it doesn't stick to the bottom and so the rice cooks equally all around. It's a good arm workout as well! :-)
Begin adding 2 ladle's of hot broth and stir. Once you see the broth dry up add another ladle and continue adding one ladle at a time until the rice is almost cooked through. Do not let the rice cook too much or else you will have a soggy, sticky and gross risotto. Taste it. If you can bite through the grain of rice but still feel that it's firm, turn off the heat. Add about 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, a full teaspoon of butter guessed it... stir. Taste it at this point and see if you need to add extra salt. Add some pepper and a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley.
Stir until everything is mixed well and serve.
Now you have yourself an amazing pumpkin risotto!! Buon appetito!