It seems like we’re FINALLY on the upswing over here. All linens have been washed on super hot, the entire house has been disinfected (with heavy duty Lysol – I don’t mess around!) and all of us have our cheery (overly talkative) demeanors back.
Another thing that is back? OUR APPETITES! My kids were STARVING come yesterday. All I could think to serve was something comforting. Comfort food for me comes in the form of mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken pot pie or a creamy risotto. RISOTTO was something I had all the ingredients – arborio rice, cheese and a few vegetables on hand. When I was in Vegas for IHRSA, a bunch of my co-trainers went out to Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak restaurant at the MGM, one of the best chef restaurants in Vegas, and I remember one of the girls saying that the risotto there was top notch. I tried to find Tom’s recipe, but to no avail. Instead, I found this Spring Green Risotto recipe from Food Network and I thought I’d share it with you guys. We had this for dinner last night and it was absolutely perfect – warm and creamy. No extras needed – this was the main course. The perfect comfort food!
Spring Green Risotto
From Food Network
- 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
- 1 cup chopped fennel
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 pound thin asparagus
- 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.
**Thanks goes to the Food Network for providing the recipe for this perfect comfort food!
QUESTION: Have you ever made risotto? What is your perfect comfort food?