Monday, February 15, 2010

Risotto... Make it for the one you LOVE!

Hello Everyone! Happy belated Valentine's Day! I had a wonderful day with my guys yesterday, The Son gave me a beautiful potted red tulip plant and The Husband gave me a book on "SuperFoods." We had a low-key day as far as gifts are concerned but Valentine's Day isn't about gifts, is it? I should add that it was the 17th anniversary of my engagement to The Husband... can you believe he kept me that long? Through thick and through thin... literally!

I have been INTO making risotto lately, I think it's because of the cold weather and snow we've been experiencing as well as the fact that risotto is delicious! DELICIOUS! Now, as a nutritionist, I will admit that risotto isn't the most healthy thing you can eat but there are plenty of ways to work it into your diet (diet meaning the food you eat, not a plan you can't live with) and the fact that if you make it at home, with out a pre-packaged mix, it's all natural, not processed and it tastes so fresh! It also takes a bit of time to make so that helps me limit it to once per week, therefore, we're not eating too much of it.

I really enjoy the process of making risotto, it's soothing, stirring in cup after cup of broth as the smells of garlic or shallots or mushrooms waft up and as your hearty, delicious dish thickens and gets tastier by the minute. I always tell The Husband that it's a dish you make for the one you love because it takes time and dedication to do it right... just like marriage!

I've been scoping my favorite recipe Internet sites for various risotto recipes and of course, the best ones I find are on Cooking Light and Eating Well, two of my favorites. I had a guest photographer yesterday who took pictures of me as I cooked, The guest photographer is also known as The Son and I think he did a pretty good job!

Here is a cooking tip for you and yes, I am totally and completely serious... I wear swim goggles when I cut onions, or in this case shallots. I know it helps that I am a swim instructor so of course I have goggles but you can buy a cheap pair at any Wal-Mart or Target as soon as summer gets here if you don't already have some. My eyes are sensitive and I cannot stand the way they feel when the fumes burn them. I know I look ridiculous but honestly, it's the only thing that works...

Plus, it makes The Son laugh...

I also like making risotto because usually it calls for a half a cup of wine or so and that means that I can have a little glass of wine while I'm cooking, it makes the stirring and stirring and stirring just a bit more entertaining.

So, I am not going to post the recipes here that I've tried, I'll supply you with a link and my opinion and you can give it a try yourself if you want to make them.

The first one I tried was from Cooking Light and was Porcini Mushroom Risotto with Marscarpone cheese . This one was by far, my favorite. I cut a little bit of the fat by using half the olive oil and replacing it with non-stick spray which is something I do with just about every recipe I ever make. At times, I don't even use the olive oil but in this case, I want a bit of that EVOO flavor. I made this recipe twice and the second time my grocery store was out of dried porcini mushrooms, I used oyster mushrooms and the were not as flavorful but still quite good, if you don't like a really strong mushroom flavor, they would be a good option for you. I preferred the porcinis as did The Husband.

Last night, I made Eating Well's Winter Squash Risotto, the nice thing about this one was that by adding the Butternut squash, you lower the calories per 1 cup serving. The Husband had requested this one and it too was very yummy. My tip for this one is, if you can, buy the squash already peeled and seeded. Doing that saved me loads of time, this recipe calls for optional saffron which I was unfortunately unable to find at my grocery store. It was good without the saffron but I think it would have been even better with. I added a few fresh enoki mushrooms along with the fresh shitakes that this recipe called for just because I think they're cute and yummy. Here's the risotto in the pot...

And, on the plate with some roasted asparagus and a petite filet... a yummy, hearty, healthy meal for just a bit more than 500 calories!

And see... he loves me!

And... so does he! I'm a lucky girl!

Thanks to The Son for taking most of these pictures, please don't mind the few dark spots on some of them, that's where his finger was over a portion of the flash, he tries so hard, I don't have the heart to correct him.

Have a great President's Day, we're meeting friends at the Y which I'm really looking forward to. They're calling for more snow tonight and I'm hoping it's just a dusting and won't affect whether or not The Son has school tomorrow the child needs to go back... Bye for now!


Susan said...

Yummy!!! Bobby and I have recently made risotto at home and I love it too!!! :-) SOOO good. You make me want to cook it all up tonight... asparagus and all!!

Running Jen said...

Thanks for sharing! I think I'm going to try one of those recipes. I think it Risotto would be fun to try, I'm gonna put it on the list for this week! Your little guy sure takes great pictures, and you look great!

Cathy said...

Looks good! I am totally cracking up at the picture of you with your wine in your measuring cup and in your hand, HA HA!!

All great pics! Good work to the Nephew!

Norma said...

Hey, that is an AWESOME idea about the goggles! My daughters love to help cut vegetables when we make pizza, soup, stir fry, etc. the onions really bother their I'm gonna dig up the beach bag in the garage next time! They'll love it!

morewineplease said...

I totally need to do the goggle thing! all sounds yummy and you look awesome!

Marie said...

holy moly! you look fantastic!! sorry you can relate to the home issues...ugh!! i wouldn't wish this mess on anyone. LOVE risotto...i've only ever made it out of a box though. lol