Risotto with Mushrooms and Dried Tomatoes
2 1/2 - 3 cups chicken stock (I made my own instead of buying pre-made - you could use Veg broth too if you wanted..oh and I did 3 cups)
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped (I used 1 leek as I couldn't find any shallots)
1 cup Arborio rice (I found a small bag at Wal mart for $2.77 - best price I'd seen so far...Unico brand)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
4 oz brown or white button mushrooms, sliced (I used white...about 5 mushrooms)
1/3 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (I don't even like tomatoes - but I would not leave these out...delish)
salt and fresh pepper
1/4 cup grated parm (I didn' use)
minced fresh basil (I didn't use)
boil stock, reduce and simmer. In another saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium-low heat, add shallots (leek in my case) and cook until translucent. Add rice (yes dry) and cook, stir until opaque (3-4 minutes). Add 1/2 cup stock and lemon zest - cook until stock is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup stock, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cook - stirring until absorbed. Repeat, adding 1/2 cup of stock 2 more times (I used all the stock I had made). Continue until rice is al dente in center and creamy on the outside. Season with salt and pepper (I never add salt and added just a small amount of pepper). Sprinkle with Cheese and Basil (didn't have either of these so did not add them).
This was seriously SO delicious...in fact I served my husband first as he was off to do some work on a friend's garage and before I even had the chance to check with him on how it was he called to me saying, "Hun, this is GREAT!" - He LOVED it! I absolutely LOVE making meals he devours - proud wife moment for sure! :D
**Note: This would be a really easy dish to add chunks of chicken to if you wanted....though it really doesn't need it.**
I served this with two side dishes - although Brent only likes one of them. I make sweet potatoes purely for myself. You can find the recipe HERE.
I also made some Green Beans from the new Spatulatta cookbook I bought. It's got recipes tried and tested (and made) by kids which I think is great - I was also impressed there was a vegetarian section. I know Brent loves green beans and since we both like garlic as well, I figured this dish was a sure hit. I was right!
Green Beans with Garlic
1 pound green beans, washed with ends trimmed
1/4 cup water
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp margarine or olive oil
Place trimmed beans in a microwave safe bowl. Add water and cover, microwaving on high until just tender - about 5 minutes. While the beans are cooking, mince the garlic. Melt the butter or oil (I admit, I used butter for more flavor) in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute about 2-3 minutes - or until you smell the delicious garlic. When the beans are ready, remove them from the microwave (be careful, the dish will be HOT!) and put them in the skillet - pour out any excess water first. Stir the beans gently until they are coated with the garlic butter/oil. Mmmmmm!
SERIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS RATING: 5 STARS (both the risotto and the green beans...and the sweet potatoes for me!)