Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Autumn Risotto

The hubs and I were in PA on vacation meeting our new grandbaby Wyatt. We came back and found a few science projects in our fridge. After cleaning a few things out, I decided to make a risotto with what was salvagable! I found when making risotto, that it is one of the things my father used to call a pastish. When my dad was in the mood to clean out the fridge, he would call it a pastish and put anything and everything into the dish he was making and it would be edible. I have found that risotto is very forgiving when it comes to what you can add to it. It is your basic standby, arborio rice and stock, and then whatever your lil heart wants to add to it! I hope you enjoy.

5 - 7 cups homemade chicken or veggie stock
4 chicken breasts, cubed
1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
2 small acorn squash, peeled and diced
2 portobello mushrooms, diced
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
1 elephant garlic, chopped
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp dried sage
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Grated parmesan cheese (garnish)
Crushed walnuts (garnish)

In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil. In a dutch oven, preheat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the cubed chicken and saute until cooked. Remove from the heat. In the same pot, add the leeks and the garlic and cook until limp. Deglaze with the white wine. Add the rice and stir until all liquid has evaporated. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add 2 ladles of stock to the rice mixture and stir until liquid has evaporated, over medium low heat. About 3/4 of the way through the stock, add the spices, nutmeg, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and stir in the mushrooms, squash and the chicken. Continue adding the stock until you have used it up, 2 ladles at a time. After the liquid has evaporated, you will be left with a creamy rice and a yummy dish! Pour rice into a bowl and sprinkle with the crushed walnuts and the grated parmesan cheese.

Steak Marinade

Dave makes an awesome marinade for steak. This is something that is best used if you are able to let these babies rest for at least 2 hours in this juicy goodness!

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Montreal steak spice
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing
(with the dressing, you can use Italian dressing, he has used vidalia onion dressing, zesty italian dressing, balsamic vinagrette, etc, nothing really creamy such as ranch or blue cheese, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to if you wanted to get creative)

Combine all ingredients into a Ziploc bag and place the steak inside and seal. Let stand for about 2 - 3 hours before grilling. As you are grilling, pour the remaining marinade over the steak.