May 2, 2011
by Christi Borden
As promised, this is my version of Risotto Milanese or Milan-style. What makes it Milan-style? I believe it is the addition of Saffron and cheese but perhaps someone wiser than me can answer that question. Regardless, this is my version and I stand by it.
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 2 Shallots (finely chopped)
- 5 cloves of garlic, (minced)
- 1 Cup Abrorio Rice (there is no substitute)
- 5 Cups Chicken Stock (homemade is best but Swanson’s will do)
- 1/2 Bottle Dry Italian White Wine (again, use a quality that you would drink. If it is not good enough to drink, it is not good enough to cook with).
- Pinch of Saffron (expensive but worth it)
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated, not the sawdust stuff in the green bottle)
- 1 TBS Butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
First, Combine stock and wine in a microwave container and heat for 5 minutes. The secret to successful Risotto is adding heated liquids to the rice as you go along instead of shocking the rice with cold liquids and not fully releasing the starches that make this dish so deliciously smooth and delightful.
Second, heat oil over medium/high and saute garlic and shallots for 1 minute (careful not to burn garlic). Add dry rice and saffron, and stir for about 30 seconds to warm and to coat with oil.
Now, the magic of risotto begins: Add enough liquid to cover rice by about 1/2 inch, and constantly stir over medium heat until liquid is almost gone. Continue adding more liquid and stirring mixture until rice is al dente (gives slightly when biting but almost cooked through) and creamy. This takes about 20 minutes or so.
Helpful Hint: I stir about every minute so grab a book and the glass of chilled wine and hunker down. If you walk way and do not stir properly, you will not be happy with the results and may burn your rice. Believe me, the results are worth the effort here.
After rice has reached the perfect consistency, remove from heat and add cheese, butter and salt (check for this as the cheese, butter and stock all add salt so it may not be necessary) and fresh black pepper to taste.
There, your Risotto is done and is the perfect dish to serve as you would pasta or potatoes. I sometimes add baby bello mushrooms to this dish but it will change the color and flavor to create a delicious but less delicate side.
I hope you enjoy this as it has become a family favorite!
April 27, 2011
Garlic is a Gift for the Soul!
by Christi Borden
By request from my friends, I am happy to share one of my kids favorite recipes. Okay, before you start gasping, this is delicious and the garlic is very mild when prepared according to the recipe. This was adapted from a recipe from The Stinking Rose Restaurant in San Fran… go there if you ever get the chance.
- 10 to 12 chicken thighs, skin removed
- 5 cups Chicken Stock (homemade is best but Swanson’s is next to best thing)
- 1/2 bottle of good dry white Italian Wine (Rule of Thumb is do not cook with it if you would not drink it:)
- 40 to 100 or more peeled garlic cloves (easy when purchased in pre-peeled pack).
- 1/2 to 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- Fresh Rosemary
- 3 TBS Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt/Fresh Ground Black Pepper
First, lightly salt and pepper chicken and brown in heated oil in a large flat skillet. Remove from heat when golden brown on both sides but not cooked. Add garlic to oil and constantly stir for about 5 minutes to coat with oil and lightly brown/roast garlic cloves. Pay special attention not to brown or burn garlic. Add rosemary and chicken back to pan and cover chicken with broth and wine. Lower heat so that it bubbles gently, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
Remove chicken to plate, raise temperature and cook broth/wine mixture for 10 minutes on High to reduce. Place reduction into blender and very carefully blend garlic/broth mixture. Use caution when blending hot liquids – use the toggle switch to turn on very briefly and then allow pressure to be released through lid so that you are not scalded by this mixture under pressure.
Return to pan after thoroughly blended, add cream to taste, cook gently on medium until thoroughly blended and thickened. Return chicken to sauce and you are done! I serve this with Risotto Milanese (will share that one next) and a fresh salad or green vegetable. Your family will love it and you will not have to worry about Vampires for weeks!
Who cares? It is that yummy!
January 2, 2011
by Christi Borden
If you were to ask anyone who knows me very well for a description… the following adjectives would not necessarily make the short list:
Patient, Methodical, Analytical, Calm or Organized. Sad, but there it is.
This does not mean that I cannot be these things when I really put my mind to it, but I have yet to master these traits. I have spent endless hours (okay, years) trying to develop systems to enhance my skills. In the end, I have managed to hire a fabulous staff… delegation is a wonderful thing.
However, as I spent ALL DAY today (and yesterday) cooking, I realized that cooking is a task that by its very own nature requires the exact traits that have so long escaped my grasp. Yet through it all, I absolutely LOVE to cook. I always have. Following the passion of my professional chef Grandfather… I derive sheer and utter joy from the planning, organizing, creation and completion processes involved. And each time I delve into a very complicated recipe or menu plan … I become someone different in the process. I am transformed into the gal I have always wanted to be.
So to anyone out there that might want to know me – Yes, I can be Patient, Methodical, Analytical, Calm and Organized…Well, at least while I am cooking.
What transforms you?
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