Risotto for One, Please!

It has happened, we are officially Empty-Nesters.
RatherTallOne has moved out and is now cooking for himself and his girlfriend.
Early reports from her are that he is quite the chef, making me rather proud.

We found out a few months ago that he has a wheat, barley and hops allergy. In solidarity I gave up all wheat (but not beer every now and then).
Cleaning the pantry and fridge of all things EVIL wheat was the way to go sadly.
I found out that a staple we eat a lot, Risotto from Trader Joes, had wheat in it to thicken the rice.
What is a mom to do? It has never occurred to me to make it from scratch because I thought it was hard to do.

Who hasn’t seen an episode of Hells Kitchen where Gordon Ramsey screams out that the Risotto is BLAND!

If professionals can’t do it who was I to try?
I’ve been hesitant to make foods I wasn’t trained in or comfortable with. Cooking rice, piece of cake. Risotto is scary.

So one day we were wanting Risotto with our salmon and I bit the bullet.
It was amazing!
I made it 3 times since and it comes out creamy, garlicky and really good.

The next 6 days Himself is in the Netherlands so solo food it is.
I was going to eat just chicken and roasted peppers when all of a sudden I wanted Risotto as well.
Math done, here is a recipe for Risotto for One.

1 TBS butter
1 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS chopped onion or shallot
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Arborio Rice aka Italian-Style Rice
About 1.5 cup of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste (don’t make it bland!)
Any mushrooms and vegetables chopped up
Parmesan cheese to taste, I add at least 1/4 cup

Saute onion and garlic in butter and olive oil on lower heat for 3 minutes
Add rice and stir for 2 minutes
Stir in broth until rice is covered
I had leftover asparagus and mushrooms I added in.
I’ve added peas and mushrooms, it’s all tasty.

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Continue cooking a stirring until broth is absorbed.
Add more broth but make sure it’s absorbed before you add more.
Try the rice if it’s cooked towards the end of cooking before you add more broth. It’s not a timed process, more a “taste as you go”.
You are aiming for sticky, gooey rice as the cheese will bind it.

Once it’s fully cooked add the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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My take on Macaroni and cheese, bacon style!

A few food items are always in my fridge, cheese, eggs and bacon.

A friend posted a recipe she tried last week on Facebook and I tinkered with it a little and came up with this new recipe.
I made it for The Boy and Himself and they deemed it good for a repeat.
If you can’t find the cheese I used you can substitute with cream cheese, garlic and parsley.

ETA: rinsing the pasta under cold water will stop the cooking process and also avoid melting the cheese too soon.
Also letting the meat cool off a little helps in this process.

Creamy, bacon bake.

1 box pasta (elbows, bow-ties or rotini)
Boursin cheese (not the low-fat kind)

boursib
1 cup grated cheese, I use half parmesan and mozzerella
4 slices of bacon
8 ounces of chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook pasta to almost fully cooked, drain and set aside
Cook bacon until crisp, crumble and set aside
Sautee cut up chicken in bacon grease (or in 1 tbs butter, but trust me cooking it in the bacon fat enhances the flavor)
Drain fat from chicken and mix macaroni with bacon, chicken, cream and the cheeses.
Preheat the oven at 350
Coat an ovenproof dish with butter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until all the cheese is melted.
Halfway stir the pasta so that the cheese coats all over (it stays creamier that way)
If you have a broiler give the dish a quick broil to get a crunchy crust.

Enjoy!

food

 

Slight chance of rain!

3 meat Chili!

2 small cans of beans of your choice (I used red kidney beans) or 1 big can
6 slices bacon
3 sausages, I use mild Italian kind
1.5 pounds ground beef
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes, 28 ounces total
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbs cumin
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs paprika (I used the smoked kind)
1 small can of tomato paste
Optional: 1 small can of spicy Mexican tomato sauce, I used El Pato

I use a Dutch oven.

Brown bacon and set aside
Brown sausage and beef in the bacon grease, drain and set aside
Add tomatoes and let simmer, add tomato paste and let the sauce come to a boil.
Add beef/sausage and bacon
Add half of the seasonings to the mixture, add the beans
Let simmer for around 20 minutes and taste! before adding more spices.
Finish off uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes.

I found Chiplote powder and it gave it a really nice kick without making it too spicy.

Easiest chicken ever!

I need to get back to cooking for 3 because TheGirl has left for college.
Also BubbleWrapBoy seems to have left the clumsy/for ever hungry stage indicating he might very well have stopped growing. For now.
Less food is being eaten, we’ll see if in a week or so he reverts back to his inhaling everything food wise.

This is one of those really simple dishes, easy to adapt because it’s one chicken breast per person.
Count on 1 ounce of cheese per person and 2 slices of prosciutto ham.

Chicken with mozerella and ham

4 chicken filets
4 ounces mozerella, cut in 4 slices
8 slices prosciutto ham
2 tbs olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
Cut chicken filets in half but not all the way,
salt and peper
layer with mozzerella
roll and wrap ham around.
cook on both sides for 3 minutes on each side.
transfer to oven proof dish
add rosemary sprigs and cook in 350 oven for 15-20 minutes

Enjoy!

Everything is better with bacon

A few food items are always in my fridge, cheese, eggs and bacon.

A friend posted a recipe she tried last week on Facebook and I tinkered with it a little and came up with this new recipe.
I made it for The Boy and Himself and they deemed it good for a repeat.
If you can’t find the cheese I used you can substitute with cream cheese, garlic and parsley.

ETA: rinsing the pasta under cold water will stop the cooking process and also avoid melting the cheese too soon.
Also letting the meat cool off a little helps in this process.

Creamy, bacon bake.

1 box pasta (elbows, bow-ties or rotini)
Boursin cheese cheese
1 cup grated cheese, I use half parmesan and mozzerella
4 slices of bacon
8 ounces of chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook pasta to almost fully cooked, drain and set aside
Cook bacon until crisp, crumble and set aside
Sautee cut up chicken in bacon grease (or in 1 tbs butter, but trust me cooking it in the bacon fat enhances the flavor)
Drain fat from chicken and mix macaroni with bacon, chicken, cream and the cheeses.
Preheat the oven at 350
Coat an ovenproof dish with butter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until all the cheese is melted.
Halfway stir the pasta so that the cheese coats all over (it stays creamier that way)
If you have a broiler give the dish a quick broil to get a crunchy crust.

Enjoy!

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Somewhat made from scratch, Baked Brie

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and somehow I don’t think you need me to blog about a turkey? Right?
It is my intention to blog about how we cook the bird, next year.

I’m going to take tomorrow off, unless the mood strikes me and I get a moment to myself.
New Adult is flying home tonight and her 3 days at home are looking like a grocery/wish list of foods and shops.
Starting with dinner tomorrow, Turkey, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with bacon , peertjes, Scalloped potatoes and gravy.

I’m throwing this quick appetizer in the oven tomorrow, it will be a first for us as I’ve not tackled this dish yet.
But it looked good in my mind.

Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam

1 brie wheel
2 containers of Croissants (the kind you need to bake)
1 tbs butter
2 tbs of raspberry jam
egg yolk, mixed

Lay out the croissant dough in a circle
Put the brie on top
Fold over the dough covering the brie.
Brush with egg
Finally cover the top of the brie with jam and the rest of the dough sealing the brie in the dough.
Brush with egg again
Place on cookie sheet

Preheat the oven at 425
Bake the brie for 10 minutes
Brush with egg
Bake for another 10 minutes
Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Countdown to Thanksgiving is on.

Are you tired of the same potato dishes for the Thanksgiving menu?

We love Gratins, Scalloped potatoes as they are called here.

This dish was traditionally eaten by the peasants in the Dauphiné region which is a mountaineous region around Grenoble where we used to live.
This is an old favorite tweaked a bit to add shallots and make it a hit with The Boy.

It has been decided that while I am allowed to write up the recipe, Himself is the one who will make it.
My version is not up to the taste of the kids, go figure.

Gratin Dauphinois

6 medium sized yellow or new potatoes
1 shallot
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs butter
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
1.4 cup heavy cream

Peel potatoes
Cut potatoes in thin wedges, 1/4 inch
butter an ovenproof dish and layer potato slices in a single layer
quickly saute the garlic and the shallot, do not brown.
evenly put little pats of butter on the potatoes and cover with the shallots and garlic
Season with the salt.pepper and nutmeg
cover with heavy cream

In a 325 oven cook until potatoes are soft, about 40 minutes.

If you want to be adventurous you might want to try adding cut up and cooked bacon, swiss cheese and chives.

Either way this dish is perfect for a holiday meal.

Enjoy!

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