Tag Archives: savory

Creamy Lemon Risotto with Asparagus and Cremini Mushrooms

6 Apr
IMG_4873

Is it just me, or has this winter felt particularly long? The first day of spring was two weeks ago, but I still find myself wearing the same puffy jacket and boots that I wore mid-January.

On a cold, rainy evening last week I decided enough is enough. I may not be able to create spring outside, but I can create it in my kitchen. I’m a huge fan of Food52 and was inspired by this risotto recipe that I came across on their blog. Everything about it screams springtime: crunchy veggies, fresh herbs and lots of lemon. It was the perfect cure for my winter blues.

The key is making great risotto is patience. The rice needs to be stirred constantly to allow the starches to be released, which takes at least thirty minutes. This requires a lot attention, so try not to leave your risotto unattended too often or you won’t get that wonderful, creamy texture. There aren’t any shortcuts here, but the end result is more than worth the effort.

Once you get the basic recipe down, you’ll find yourself making it all the time. Simply add in any combination of your favorite veggies, proteins, and herbs. Voilá! Dinner is served.

Lemon Risotto with Asparagus and Cremini Mushrooms

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ lb Cremini mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs. olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 tsp. butter
½ lb. asparagus, cut into 1’’ pieces
1 handful parsley
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
¼ cup Parmesan or Piave cheese, grated

Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer with the lid on. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Sauté until softened, 3-4 minutes, then remove the mushrooms and set aside.

In another saucepan, boil 3 cups of water and add the asparagus. Blanch for 2-3 minutes until they turn a bright green color. Remove them with a slotted spoon and immediately place them in bowl of ice water. Let cool for a minute then drain and set aside.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in the shallots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and let it toast for about 3 minutes.  Add the wine and let it cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Add ½ cup stock to rice and stir constantly. Allow liquid to be fully absorbed before adding another ½ cup of stock. Repeat this process until the rice is fully cooked and develops a creamy texture. This may or may not require all four cups of stock.

When the rice is done cooking, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Add the asparagus, mushrooms, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley and cheese. Stir and serve warm.

Advertisements

Lamb Meatballs with Currants adapted from The Jerusalem Cookbook

31 Mar

Lamb meatballs

It seems like meatballs are everywhere lately—and I definitely don’t hate it. These little balls of goodness are the perfect meal; comforting, satisfying and really simple to make. And with so many variations you can find an excuse to eat them any time of the year.

When my aunt called me the other day asking what to make for Easter dinner, I didn’t even have to think about my answer. At first she was hesitant, given that we normally serve lamb chops, but I convinced her that lamb meatballs would be just as delicious and would even appeal to my younger cousins.

This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s version in the Jerusalem cookbook. I made them this weekend as a test batch so I could perfect the recipe for Sunday. Turns out, not a whole lot needed to be perfected. They’re absolutely delicious.

The trickiest part is getting the meat to brown perfectly. If the meatballs begin to burn, turn down your heat slightly and move them away from the center of the pan. Try starting out with one ball, so you can get the hang of it before doing the rest.

They don’t need to be perfect, so they’re a lot of fun to make and even more fun to eat. I served them over bulgar but you can use any grain you like. I’m thinking I’ve just stumbled upon a new Easter dinner tradition.

Lamb Meatballs with Currants

1 lb. ground lamb
1 yellow onion
1 cup breadcrumbs or panko
3 tbs. mint, cilantro, parsley, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. each of ground cumin, coriander, cardamom and cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
4-5 tbs. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
6 green onions, sliced
1 tbs. currants
2 tbs. lemon juice
2 cups chicken stock

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl along with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and form into small balls about the size of a golf ball. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan or Dutch oven. In small batches brown the meatballs all over, adding more oil with each batch. When finished, place the meatballs on a plate and set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and green onions and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the currants, lemon juice, chicken stock, salt and pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes over low heat with the lid on. Add the meatballs back into the pan and let simmer for thirty minutes with the lid on until cooked through.

%d bloggers like this: