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Friday, July 11, 2008

Make Lemonade out of Lemons: Recipe

Fridays tend to be a "no cook zone" in my house. It's just a thing I have...after a long week of working full time and taking care of two children, a husband, and a household (not to mention myself somewhere in there!), I tend to boycott the kitchen on Fridays. We usually have pizza, sushi, Greek food, or even a cook-out that my husband takes care of.

Last night my two year old decided it would be better to scream bloody-murder for nearly three hours than to actually sleep. So I'm a walking zombie today, as is my husband so the desire to cook something was sooo not there - not at all. But given that he had pizza for lunch and we agreed to be more vigilant with eating the food in the house before it all goes bad, he suggested "we" make something. OK. I wasn't going to really argue - though I did try to put up a fight, I think I was just too tired to muster the energy I needed to win the argument.

So, as the proverbial saying goes...I made lemonade out of lemons.

I love risotto - it's really a form of comfort food for me. It's rich and creamy and hearty while being pasta all at the same time. And I can put all kinds of things into it - like my frittata concept. So I made a lemony flavored risotto that was really refreshing as it comforted. It is not complicated though it can take more time to make than a simple pasta and sauce. So if you're super pressed with time, don't use this. But if you have about 45 minutes, enjoy. Be sure to always stir!

Lemon and Herb Risotto with Pancetta
3 leeks, washed well and sliced thin (white and some green parts)
1 medium onion, chopped well
4 oz. pancetta, cubed
3 Tbsp. Limonatta Oil (lemon-infused oil)
2 14.5 oz cans, chicken broth
3/4 cup assorted herbs (equal parts) including: rosemary, chives, parsley, sage, thyme, mint and cilantro
1 cup Arborio rice
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
6 oz. white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesano-Reggiano

In a small saucepan, heat broth over medium heat.

In a large dutch-oven or pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion. Saute onion until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Next add in the leeks and saute another 2-3 minutes before adding pancetta. Saute all three ingredients about 5 more minutes until leeks and onions are soft . Stir often.

Add rice and stir about 1 minute before adding two ladles of broth. Stir well and allow broth to evaporate - stir well. Continue to add in ladles of broth until rice is very creamy and tender. Substitute wine once for broth. Stir mixture often.

Meanwhile in a food processor, chop herbs well. Add in softened butter and pulse until well blended. When risotto is about finished, remove it from the heat and add in butter-herb mixture and cheese. Serve with extra cheese.

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