Friday, September 9, 2011

Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach

After this week Nana and I will be skipping two Fridays, but for an "acceptable" reason :) 
We will be in France !
We have plans to hit Paris for several days and then TGV down to the South and tour around by car.  I drive and Nana navigates - esp. crucial since I do not speak or read French !  It should be an adventure for sure and we plan to eat from the moment we touch French soil. 

We will play "catch up" when we return and wish everyone a few happy French Fridays in advance.  Now, on to that lovely rice......

Per Nana :

The only Risotto recipe that I ever used was taken
from a cookbook of the Frugal Gourmet back in the 80's.  
His book was the very first cookbook I had collected that
was signed by the author. He had a television show on
PBS stations on Saturday afternoons, and was one of the
first chefs on TV.  The recipe was made with Gorganzola
 cheese, and hubby and I worked together patiently
cooking it slowly, adding a little bit of chicken broth
as the arborio rice absorbed the liquid. 
 Just one of those cooking rituals we enjoyed as
 we sipped our glass of wine.
This week's rice recipe was such a different method
 of cooking that I had my doubts.  But I
was really surprised at the results.

I brought the chicken broth to a boil and just added
the arborio rice and simmered until tender. 
I then combined it with the onions, garlic and
 chopped spinach.  The Gruyere cheese and cream was
added to the rice and gave it  a very creamy texture.  

Hubby and I thought the rice was very tender,
 the taste wonderful, and the simplicity of the
recipe was a nice change.

I still love my risotto with the blue cheese,
but this dish is definitely a winner.

Per Tricia ~

As indicated by Nana, this method for preparing
risotto is a "keeper".    Having a lower maintenance
recipe will inspire me to prepare this more often. 

 Dorie's lovely combination of flavors only adds to this
 inspiration.  This combo would was pretty much  a
"sure thing" for my household and the dish did not disappoint.

I followed the recipe exactly, though I took my cooked
 spinach out and drained it on paper towels - which I
 really think helped that process along.  The next time I
am not going to be shy about "cheating" and using my
 favorite frozen chopped spinach (which handily
comes in 10 oz boxes...thank you Green Giant). 

We are busy with travel preparations
 so I did not try the stuffed peppers but will absolutely
do this again, as my husband is a fan of them. 
 This was lovely, warm, comfort food and we
 will be seeing more of it over the winter !

Friday, September 2, 2011

Corn Soup

The weather has "turned" in the Mid-Atlantic region this week (well, turned crazy with the recent earthquake and hurricane....) and Nana and I have been enjoying the cooler temperatures.  This week's selection of Corn Soup was a perfect match for the season and provided some appreciated comfort food.

Per Nana ~

This week's recipe for Corn Soup was such a pleasant surprise. 
 It takes a little time to prep all the veggies, but it is well worth it.  
I could only find white corn  at the farm stand,
but I don't think it matters as long as the corn is fresh.  

 Normally soup is not a summertime item,  but
 this was so creamy and tasty, it really hit the spot.

For the garnish, I used the extra kernels,
bacon, and scallion and instead of a chile pepper I
used a bit  of cayenne pepper.  

I served a simple caprese salad made with fresh
mozzarella and a farm fresh tomato.  
Hubby and I enjoyed this a lot and I  
will definitely make this again.

Per Tricia ~

 I was running so late in  preparing this I thought
 it would end up a "French Saturday" :) 

Nana had mentioned that the prep time took a little while,
so I was getting a bit nervous as I shopped for ingredients
around 6pm on Friday.  I was pleasantly surprised that
the ingredients were few, fairly "ordinary" and the
 prep time was not bad at all. 

The steps coordinated very well - chop this, simmer
that and in the meantime cook up some bacon. 
It never felt like a frazzling experience. 
 And I was anticipating frazzle. 
 The taste  - was simply lovely. 

I got to bring out the immersion blender that Nana gave
 me one year and had a fun time blending it to a
"not too smooth" consistency.  I added the bacon as
 a garnish and while my photo shows a bit on top
(just to add a little color) I listened to Dorie and
 served it with the bacon on the bottom. 

This soup was a keeper.
 A perfect dish that I will definitely revisit again this fall. 

My taste testers loved it  and were standing at
the ready while I blended it with the mixer.  When they
 learned the bacon was going into the bowls too,
 it was as if they won the lottery - who doesn't love bacon ?