Sunday, July 15, 2012

Risotto con pollo e funghi



I was flipping through my Better Home and Garden cookbook given to us by my brother-in-law (thanks Matthew!) and I daringly turned to the pasta section. Can I just say? Pasta is the one thing I will never give up no matter what eating trend I find myself in.

Side note: Today I am starting a 30-day challenge. I heard a segment of a podcast on TED Talks (I highly recommend this) about how people can create habits and routines within 30 days Click here for podcast. The speaker (Matt Cutts) started biking to work and now loves it.  As we established earlier, I tend to stick to my goals when I broadcast them to the public. That way, if I fail at them, I've got more than just my own disappointment to worry about.  With that said, I've decided to work out 3 days/week. Call this what you want, but it is definitely a goal that will be challenging for me. I have never worked 3 days/ week consecutively. IT'S NOT FUN! Therefore, I don't enjoy it.

This brings me back to eating trends.  People think that if they just cut out that one "poisonous" food group, they will drop pounds like flies. As true to an extent as this might be, I am the first to say "everything in moderation". People need to enjoy their lives to their fullest and we all know where one of my most important joys stems from: FOOD.

As I flipped through the delicious pastas, I stopped myself at "Risotto". I have made this rich dish once before but it had been several years. I read through the recipe and no offense to BHG cookbook, but the first thought through my mind was "this has so much more potential"! I used the recipe as my base, and let my imagination do the rest.

I must say (modestly), I absolutely love when an new original recipe turns out to be a hit. It is what I am most proud of. I would equate it to someone doing really well on a test. Same goes for a day-job. It's just my thing.

So here is my recipe for my Parmesan risotto with chicken and mushrooms in a savory-cream sage sauce. See why I translated the name into Italian? It's straight-forward and to the point. Also, you cannot deny how beautiful it sounds. I will say, I was hesitant to put this on my website because it is not the easiest meal to make (it requires a good amount of multitasking). However, if you are up for a challenge, it is definitely worth the 1 hour cooking time and multitasking required to make it. Awe, heck- I'm going to go ahead and dub this recipe fun, ALMOST easy, and positively delicious.

Ingredients
1 small finely chopped onion
2 cups half and half (cream and milk)
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tbs butter
12-24 oz fresh sliced mushrooms (depending on how much of a mushroom-lover you are)
1/4 pound chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
32 oz chicken broth
1 tsp sage
salt
pepper


Steps:

1. Begin by bringing the broth to a light boil in a small pot
2. Sautée onion, garlic and 2 tbs butter into a medium pan until the onions are translucent
3. Mix in arborio rice and stir for a couple of minutes to give it a toasted taste
4. Use a large ladle to pour boiling broth into the arborio rice. STIR REPEATEDLY. Make sure it is cooked entirely (without burning the rice) before adding the next ladle. This process is what makes the rice sticky.
5. While you're stirring the rice and broth, sautée the remaining butter with the mushrooms until they are lightly browned on medium heat. "Don't crowd the mushrooms, otherwise they won't brown" -Julie and Julia
6. Pour the half -and-half over the mushrooms and make sure to stir repeatedly so the cream doesn't curdle or boil over
7. Add the chicken and sage to the mushrooms and make sure it is fully covered by the cream. Flip repeatedly to ensure even distribution of heat
8. Once you pour your last ladle of broth into the rice, add Parmesan cheese and stir one last time. The consistency should be significantly thicker than the beginning.
9. Once the chicken is cooked to its fullest, dish out a small portion of rice onto a plate and cover with mushrooms and chicken.

For garnish, use finely chopped parsley.

Bon appetite


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