I can not even begin to explain how excited I was to see that someone had commented on one of my posts. I started writing online several months ago because I had fallen so in love with other blogs. Honestly I think one of my favorite aspects of having this website is the list that runs on the left hand side. No matter where I am, I can browse to my blog and then go down my list of favorites and see what everyone else has cooked up.
Anyway, I never really thought about other people coming across my blog and was ecstatic and slightly embarrassed that someone had. Tara, from Seven Spoons takes GORGEOUS photographs and I feel like such an amateur in comparison. I made her soup a few weeks back and linked to her website in order to give credit where it is due. She must have followed that link and discovered my post. Not only did she comment on the muffins that I made to accompany her soup, but she called them "lovely." Imagine that! Thank you Tara.
My point in all this is that her comment has pushed me to try harder and work on my photography skills. Too often I am starving once I've finished cooking and just want to dive right in. It's difficult to resist and instead play with lighting and angles until I get the perfect shot. However, I believe that good photographs are the one constant element among my favorite food blogs and I know that I won't ever be "proud" of my blog until I have better photographs to contribute.
On Friday Alex and I decided to make risotto. I made it once before with my father but it had been a long time since then and my role was quite simple, "stir." This time around I would be responsible for a whole lot more and I hoped to pass the stirring role to Alex.For the recipe, we decided on Giada’s red wine & pea risotto. We could not have picked a better recipe, it was perfect and exactly what we were craving. It is creamy and rich and the peas give it that extra oomph. I also loved the green parsley bits laced throughout. All together, it was simply exquisite. I can't wait to make it again.
It's one of those dishes I would gladly serve to company and have mentally planned out several meals for the next time that I get to play host. If you've never made risotto it really isn't as difficult as you likely believe it to be. The only problem with it is that it requires constant attention.......I promise that it's well worth it in the end.
Red Wine Risotto with Peas
Giada De Laurentiis, Family Dinners
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the broth and keep it warm over very low heat.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the rice. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes. Repeat adding 3/4 cup of hot broth 2 more times, stirring often, about 12 minutes longer. (At this point, the risotto can be set aside for up to four hours. Refrigerate the risotto- the rice will still be firm - and remaining broth, uncovered, until cool, then cover and keep them refrigerated.) Bring the remaining broth back to a simmer, then cover and keep it warm over very low heat before proceeding. Stir 3/4 cup of the hot broth into the partially cooked risotto over medium heat until the broth is absorbed and the risotto is hot, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth and simmer until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the peas and parsley. Mix in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into bowls. Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve.
(I topped mine with shredded pot roast)