Mushroom risotto with veggies.


Ok so I haven’t posted in a long time because I’ve been busy with life in general 

Long ago I ordered risotto at a an Italian restaurant because I wanted to try something different. Since then I have enjoyed risotto in many forms, mushroom, seafood, spinach and even squid ink risotto. Another very well known Mediterranean dish. Risotto is creamy and rich and could be enjoyed with white or red wine. Risotto could be served as the main dish or can be a side with suggestions of salad, grilled chicken, or steamed veggies.


Ingredients 

350 g. Arborio rice

1 package dried porchini mushroom

6 or 7 cremini mushrooms sliced

1/4 cup brandy or 1/2 white wine

800 ml. Low salt Chicken or veggies soup stock

2 Sprig fresh thyme 

One small tomato diced

Half of a red bell pepper diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 rib celery diced

Olive oil

2 tbls butter plus more for finishing 

Sea salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Freshly grated parmigiana cheese

Instructions 

Soak dried mushrooms in 1/2 cup hot water for about 15 minutes. Bring soup broth to a boil then put it in a back burner on low and keep warm. In a large sauce pan melt some butter and a glug of olive oil on medium high heat, add celery and garlic and saut√©. Add the rice and a pinch of salt, stir constantly with a wooden spoon in order to coat all the grains with the oil. Add the brandy or wine and stir until absorbed. Add the mushrooms with the hot water and the sliced mushrooms. Add the leaves from the thyme. Add a ladle full of stock and stir, add another ladle full and stir until almost all the broth has been absorbed by the rice, continue to add broth continue repeating this process and stir until liquid gets absorbed, keep stirring–this process will take about 15 minutes. Add broth, stirring constantly until almost all the broth gets used up, taste the rice and check to see if it’s al dente and creamy. Add a pinch of salt, tomatoes, peppers and the rest of the liquid broth, turn off heat and add some butter and parmigiana cheese. Cover pot with lid and allow rice to steam for about 5 minutes while you prepare the table and plates. Taste the rice and adjust seasoning with salt if needed or more cheese.. put more cheese on the table for guests to help themselves garnish their dishes. Other finishes are more thyme and olive oil, freshly ground black pepper.

Please enjoy with your loved ones or family and friends. 

Please comment and include which wine you drank and weather you used brandy or wine. Let me know if you served with side of meat or veggies, salad etc.

Thank you so very much for reading my blog


Jim

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Risotto with sardines

This is just a very basic risotto recipe and then just add a can or two of sardines depending on serving size and who may prefer the canned fish. Alternatively you could use canned tuna or salmon. You could use sardines packed in oil, but I like the ones in water then I can use my own Greek extra Virgin olive oil. There’s so many options as you could use sardines in sauce with the chilli pepper for a spicy kick.

Ingredients:

2 cups Arborio rice
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for finishing
1 tsp sea salt
1 celery stock very finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 shallot minced
6 cups of low salt veggie stock or chicken stock
1 tbsp dried basil
1-2 cans of sardines packed in water drained and chopped
1 lemon cut is wedges
Parmisano cheese optional if not using lemon

In a medium size pot heat the 6 cups of veggie or chicken stock/broth until hot and keep it warm, on the other burner heat the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter over medium heat add the celery and shallots and garlic stir with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes, add the rice and toast for a few minutes constantly stirring, now add salt, basil and 1/2 cup of hot broth, continue to stir, as soon as you see liquid evaporating in rice add 1/2 cup of broth at a time until rice is al-dente and creamy about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat stir in remaining tbsp butter and cheese if using, taste rice and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover pot of risotto and let sit for 5 minutes while getting table ready with the sardines, olive oil, more cheese, bread etc. plate risotto and allow people to help themselves to sardines, olive oil, lemon or cheese.

Serves 6 or 4 with leftovers

Depending on the rice you have broth leftover as after rice has cooked not all of the soup stock was needed.

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Chicken Avgolemono soup (classic Greek egg-lemon soup)

Cold outside, you have a few sniffles? This soup will fix everything. This is my moms recipe with a few minor tweaks. This is the kind of soup that is a meal in itself, eaten with bread no need to add anything else. You could double the recipe and use an entire chicken.

Ingredients

4 chicken backs or other chicken pieces with plenty of bones (wings, drumsticks, breast etc)
6-8 cups water
2 large carrots
2 ribs celery including leaves
1 onion
1 potato
1 lemon
2 eggs
1/2 cup long grain rice
Flat leaf parsley chopped
2 cloves garlic minced (optional)
Tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper put on a tray and broil 6 inches from heat for about 5 minutes per side. Fill a large stock pot with at least 6 cups of cold water and add the potato, celery, carrots and onion, bring to a boil and add the just broiled chicken pieces. As soon as water comes to a boil, lower heat to lowest simmer, cover and allow the soup stock to simmer for about 2 hours.

When soup stock is ready, strain stock through a fine strainer into another pot, take the strained veggies; carrot, celery, onion, potato – give them a rough chop and drop into the strained soup. Put the soup stock on the burner and turn heat to medium. Take the chicken pieces and strip away all the meat and discard the skin and bones. Add the rice and meat to the soup and allow to simmer for 30 minutes meanwhile prepare the egg-lemon froth: in a small bowl, beat the eggs for few minutes, juice the lemon and combine with beaten eggs and add the garlic. Take ladle full of liquid from soup and very very slowly add to the bowl of egg lemon mixture but continue to beat the egg-lemon with the broth and it’s important to add hot broth slowly so the eggs do not scramble, add another ladleful of broth and continue to to beat the egg-lemon- broth mixture. Turn off the heat of the soup and add the egg lemon into the pot, salt and pepper and parsley.

Serve soup immediately and have olive oil available at the table for drizzling, along with crusty bread for dipping into soup

Enjoy and merry Christmas

Thanks very much for reading my blog

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Spanish brown rice

Tsp ground cumin
Tbls chilli powder
Pinch dried oregano
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small onion chopped
One red bell pepper diced
Two tomatoes diced
Tsp sea salt
2 tbls olive oil
One carrot grated
One chilli pepper chopped or more to taste (optional)
2 cups organic brown rice

Juice of One lime or lemon
More olive oil to taste
2 tbls Fresh cilantro chopped

Combine rice with first 12 ingredients and steam rice for 45 min, check seasoning if needs more salt and pepper add more, if its too thick add more oil, I like mine oily.

If you want a creamy option add 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and serve and enjoy.

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Dolmathes

This is a recipe that is a classic Middle Eastern/Greek dish, the egg-lemon sauce is very Greek, some use oil and lemon others use sour cream. Herbs are what really make this food shine so be very generous with the fresh herbs. Pine nuts work really well but I have used walnuts with great results. I use wild or brown rice which need about 10 minutes of pre cooking. I use brown rice cause I love the texture, nutty taste and nutrition they provide. Please comment and let me know how this worked out for you, it is time consuming rolling all those dolmathes but put on the radio and have some fun, it’s well worth it.

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef or lamb
1 jar of preserved grape leaves
8 cloves garlic diced, divided in half
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 cup wild or brown rice
2 tbsp dried mint or 1 tbsp fresh
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh parsley chopped
1/2 bunch fresh dill chopped
1tbsp. dried oregano
1 handfull pine nuts lightly toasted
juice of 1 lemon juice
2 eggs (one for sauce)
1 tbsp sea salt
pepper to taste

Simmer wild or brown rice in water for 10 minutes with a little bit of oil. Drain and let cool, then add to mixture of white rice and meat. Knead all ingredients in a bowl to combine except lemon juice and 1 of the eggs and 4 cloves garlic.

toss pine nuts in non-stick skillet on high for one minute do not burn or brown too much, just enough to extract great flavour, then cut them or crush if preferred and add them to rice and meat mixture.

There is no need to boil or blanch the grape leaves unless the jar instructs you to do so. Drain leaves very well, rinse with cold water and separate them as you rinse. On a large cutting board or work surface roll grape leaves up from the stem (cut off and discard stems if long) with small spoonfull of rice mixture, sealing by folding in the sides before completely sealing the top.

In a large pot with a flat bottom pour in some olive oil and line with
some defective grape leaves that have holes.

Arrange dolmades in circular pattern at bottom of pot seam side down building up as far as the come. Do this as you roll them, if convenient. Pour water over dolmades just enough to cover, put a heavy plate on top of dolmades so they stay down and simmer steam over low heat for 1 hour. After an hour take one out and taste to make sure that rice has cooked through

Avgolomono suace

beat egg and whisk egg with lemon juice and 4 cloves garlic.

Remove dolmades from heat. Pour some of the liquid from the pot a little bit at a time into egg/lemon sauce while whisking vigorously, whisk in more liquid until all used up and keep stirring until frothy and add olive oil to sauce.

Take dolmathes out of pot into a bowl pour egg-lemon sauce over them. If you are saving some dolmathes for later refrigerate without avgolemono sauce.

1 jar of grape leaves usually yealds 30-40 grape leaves

For a vegetarian version substitute diced, carrot, celery, onion, spinach and zucchini instead of meat.

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