Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Risotto with Spring Vegetables, Tomato, and Basil

1 med. or 2 small zucchini
5 C chicken broth
3 TB butter
2 TB veg oil
1/3 C. chopped onion
1/3 C. Carrot diced very fine
1/3 C celery diced very fine
2 C arborio rice (you can get this at costco now)
1/2 C. frozen peas
1 ripe, firm, fresh tomato, skinned raw with a peeler, seeded and diced fine
1/3 C parmigiano-reggiano cheese
6 or more fresh basil leaves

1. Soak the zucchini in cold water, scrub them clean, and cut off both ends. Dice them very fine.
2. Bring the broth to a very slow, steady simmer on a burner near where you'll be cooking the risotto.
3. Put 2 TB of the butter, all the veg oil, and the chopped onion in a broad, sturdy pot, turn on the heat to medium high, and cook the onion until it becomes colored a fine golden brown.
4. Add the diced carrot and celery, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time to coat them well. Add the diced zucchini, one or two pinches of salt, and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
5. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove half the vegetables in the pot, and set aside. Turn on the heat to high. Add the rice, stirring quickly and thoroughly until the grains are coated well.
6. Add 1/2 C of broth and cook the rice a little at a time, gradually adding broth and stirring, turn the heat down to a simmer.
7. Cook the rice until it is tender, but firm to the bite (no mush or crunch), with barely enough liquid remaining to make the consistency somewhat runny (about 20 minutes). When the rice has cooked add the cooked vegetables you had set aside earlier, the diced tomato, and the thawed frozen peas. Off heat, add the remaining TB of butter, and all the grated parmesan, and stir thoroughly until the cheese melts and clings to the rice. Taste and correct for salt. Mix in the the shredded basil. Transfer to a platter and serve promptly.

This is Marcella Hazan's recipe

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

*some cooked penne/bowtie pasta (I just use what I have any style)
*some halved grape or cherry tomatoes
*some crumbled feta cheese (Costco has the best price)
*1 packet italian seasoned dressing (you need to make it)
*1/2 chopped red onion
*some sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil, again Costco is the best)
*some chicken breasts cooked & cut into strips

You can add olives, basil, & anything else your heart desires.Toss all ingredients & serve.

I got this recipe from someone's blog. Unfortunately I can't remember which blog to give proper credit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pistachio Gelato

Pistachio gelato is the benchmark by which many gelaterie are judged. You can tell at a glance if an artificial base has been used, just by the color. If the gelato maker is using real pistachio nuts, the color will be an almost drab green. If the bin flashes a neon green, keep walking!

1 C (6 oz) shelled pistachios (12 0z in the shell)
3 C whole milk
¾ C sugar

In a food processor or coffee grinder, grind the pistachio to a fine powder, reserving a few whole ones for garnish.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat, add the pistachios, cool, cover, and refrigerated overnight.

Strain the milk mixture through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing on the nuts with the back of a large spoon to get as much liquid from the nuts as possible. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes 1 quart; serves 4

Friday, May 9, 2008

Panna Cotta

This is an Italian cold custard that so easy to make.

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 TB cold water
2 C heavy cream
1 C half and half
1/3 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Raspberries or Strawberries mixed with sugar

In a very small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove pan from heat.

In a large saucepan bring cream, half and half, and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla. Divide cream mixture among 8 ramekins or small dishes and cool to room temperature. Chill ramekins, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Optional: Dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water for 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate. Garnish with raspberries or sliced strawberries mixed with a little bit of sugar.

8 servings.