Saturday, July 28, 2007

Gormet dinner last night

We are currently in the process of using up all of the food in our refrigerator and freezer before we do a big shopping trip again. We are slowly running out of everything we would normally eat. Therefore we are creating some fabulous dishes with a few fresh ingredients from the store. First I made a Lemon, Mushroom, Chicken Risotto last night - I was going to use a recipe but decided to use it more of as a guide and created my own in the meantime.

3 cups of Aborro Rice
8 cups chicken stock
2 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons chives, chopped fine
2 portobello mushrooms, chopped fine
1/4 cup dried onions
1 cup dry white wine
1 stick of butter
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Drop in chicken breasts until those are cooked. Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Keep chicken stock simmering under low heat, covered until you are ready to use.
  • Sautee with a tablespoon of the butter until soft and cooked.
  • Take dried onions and two ladles of the hot chicken stock and pour in a bowl. Take 1/4 cup of the white wine and pour in with the onions and chicken stock. This will help reconstitute the onions. About 10-15 minutes.
  • In a 3 quart heavy saucepan...the biggest pan/pot you have take the rest of the butter and melt. Sautee the onions and broth until the broth reduces over moderate heat.
  • Add in the aborro rice.
  • Constantly stir for about 3 minutes until the edges of the rice become translucent.
  • Add in the rest of the wine. Stir almost constantly until the wine absorbs.
  • Once wine absorbs, add in 1-2 ladles of the hot chicken stock each time, stirring every 30 seconds or so until the liquid absorbs. Do this at least for 20-25 minutes. Rice should be al dente but not too hard. You may or may not use all of the chicken stock. The rice should have a consistency of a thick can thin it out with some left over broth if you like it thinner.
  • Once rice is done, stir in shredded chicken, mushrooms, lemon zest, chives, parmesan cheese. Add pepper if desired
So I made double/triple the amount needed, there were only three of us last night for dinner, but I knew we'd take some over to my Mom...but mostly because I knew I wanted to make Leftover Risotto Cakes tonight for dinner. You take left over risotto (it has to be left over or at least refrigerated for several hours to thicken up and chill) and make it into cakes, bread and flour it and fry it, like crab cakes.

Okay, back to last nights menu. I bought all of these items, we didn't have any of the ingriedents at home but I wanted to splurge and do it. This is not my recipe, but it was fantastic! Super, super yummy!

Ricotta-Mascarpone Mousse with Balsamic Strawberries
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form.
  • In a large bowl combine the ricotta, mascarpone, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and lemon zest. Using an electric beater, whip the ricotta-mascarpone mixture until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  • Gradually fold the whipped cream into the ricotta until the mixture is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  • Put strawberries in another bowl. Half an hour before serving gently mix in the remaining sugar and balsamic vinegar. Make sure you don't let the strawberries sit in the balsamic vinegar much longer than 30 minutes before serving or the acidity of the vinegar will cook the strawberries.
  • When you are ready to serve, fill glass bowls halfway with the strawberries and their juices. Spoon on the ricotta-mascarpone mousse or use a pastry bag to pipe the mousse.
It was a great dinner, super long to cook, but so worth it. I'll let you know how the Risotto cakes turn out tonight.

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