Thursday, December 5, 2013
This is going to be more of a catch-up post than anything else.
I'm having a hard time getting back in the groove post-vacay. Traveling right up till the Thanksgiving holiday made our return home a bit challenging. As soon as we got back in to town, before we had had a chance to decompress, it was Thanksgiving. So on top of taking care of everything we needed to (due to us being gone for a month) we also had family obligations. Things have calmed down this week, it's starting to feel more like the holiday season.
I just love the holidays. While I don't appreciate the Christmas retail season, I do appreciate the Christmas season. The spirit of Christmas, if you will. I love having my tree up, I couldn't wait to get a poinsettia, and I'm most excited to pick up a few Christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby tomorrow. The hubby and I are also having our third Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, with his sister's family. I happen to love Thanksgiving food, so I'm perfectly fine with third round of Thanksgiving goodies.
The thing that really feels like the holiday season around here? The weather! It has been unseasonably cold and rainy here. Well, I say unseasonably, but really this is only my 4th winter in Kentucky. It could also be that I'm noticing the weather more this year because I started running. I can tell I'm going to have get creative with my workouts for this month, and maybe January as well. I completed my first indoor workout in 3 months today, thanks to Winter Storm Cleon. Strength training is important, and I have been neglecting that. It was a tough workout with some reluctant muscles. I can see how obsessed with running I've been! If I get desperate enough (i.e. the weather gets bad enough), I may even do the gym thing for a couple of months. That's a last resort, I hate gyms. With a passion.
Lastly, I was going to make muffins today. After an hour and a half of lazy yoga, a shower, lunch, a mani and a pedi- I'm not really feeling like baking. Curling up with my current read, Apart From The Crowd, sounds more in order. Or maybe Friends :)
Who am I kidding? Friends is already on.
Muffins may or may not follow this weekend. The hubby and I are running in a Jingle Bell 5k on Saturday, so baking might not happen then either. We'll see. I hope everyone's having a fantastic week, because it's almost over!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Pan-fried risotto cakes? More like Pan-fried deliciousness!
You may have noticed that my Shrimp Risotto makes a big batch. I had a lot of leftovers. A lot! I got 2 dinners for 2 people and 2 lunches for 1 person out of one freakin' batch of risotto. Now that's economical! I feel like risotto is always touted as sophisticated, elegant, and expensive. It may be sophisticated and elegant, but expensive? No, it is not.
Cold risotto straight from the fridge is perfect for this recipe. It naturally clumps together, making it super easy to form into "cakes". Dip the cakes in an egg wash, dredge through some panko, and fry them a few minutes on the stove. These were hot, crunchy, and oh-so ooey-gooey with cheesy risotto. My latest idea is to roll the risotto into risotto balls, fry them, and dip them in warm marinara. There's always next time for that :)
I hope everyone's having a great Christmas-y week!
3 cups Shrimp Risotto (or any leftover risotto)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
1. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium heat.
2. Form 1/2 cup of risotto into a patty. Dip into egg wash, then dredge into panko. Completely coat risotto in panko, shaking off any excess. Repeat with remaining risotto.
3. Place risotto patty into hot oil. Cook 3 minutes or until golden brown, then turn over. Cook 3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to let risotto cake cool 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Until very recently I'd never made risotto. I'd never even tasted risotto. And, to be perfectly honest, I'd never ever heard of risotto until I watched "Hell's Kitchen". Well, throw all those "never's" out the window!
Risotto has been on my To-Do list for a long time. This dish has a bad rap for being labor intensive and easy to screw up. I found that while, yes, you have to babysit the risotto while it's cooking, it's actually a pretty straight forward process. I see the potential for many other variations as well. Once the risotto is cooked, you could add pretty much any flavor combination you want.
Having never made or tasted risotto, I had no idea what I was aiming for. Hours spent watching the Food Channel drilled home the fact that I was looking for soft, chewy rice that was neither crunchy or mushy. That the risotto should be creamy, not sticky. I was pleased with the final results, it turned out to be creamy, cheesy goodness. The best part? We have plenty leftover, which means I'm going to make risotto cakes tonight. Yum!
4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
1 shallot, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 & 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb large raw shrimp; peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1. In a sauce pan, heat chicken broth over medium heat. When broth begins to boil, turn heat to low and keep warm.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot to pan, saute for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute.
3. Add rice, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine. Once butter has been completely absorbed by the rice, add wine to the pan. Continue to stir until wine has been completely absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the pan, stirring constantly until chicken broth has been completely absorbed. Repeat with the rest of the broth, until the rice is soft and chewy, but not mushy. This will take 30-35 minutes.
4. Add shrimp, cheese, and chives to the pan. Stir until shrimp is cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.