Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cravings & Creations Part 1

When I'm bored, it can get very dangerous. Not in a fearing for one's life sort of way, but more of a fearing for the disappearance of one's waistline kind of way. As you have probably gathered by now, today was one of those days! My hardworking husband had to go into the office on this rainy/cool turned sunny/warm Pride Weekend Saturday, so I decided to turn the apartment into my own personal kitchen dance party. On the menu tonight was Pancetta & Portobello Mushroom Risotto, and Chocolate Chip Rolo Cookies! I blasted the music (first some 90s R&B) and sang Boyz II Men at the top of my lungs while chopping and simmering and taking pictures to share with you. My gorgeous friend Kaye shared this recipe with me a few months ago, and I will forever be grateful because it's one of my favourite dishes of all time now. It takes about an hour, if you're a quick prep chef.

Pancetta & Portobello Mushroom Risotto

2 1/2 tbp of unsalted butter

125g of Pancetta thinly sliced
250g Portobello Mushroom Caps chopped
6 cups good quality chicken stock
1 cup of white wine
1 small yellow onion diced
2 cups of arborio rice
1 or 2 cloves of garlic finely diced
1/2 lemon rind, finely grated
1 cup grated parmesan
black pepper to taste

Take half your butter and melt it in a heavy pan, I like to use my big Le Creuset, and cook the pancetta for 5 minutes, until brown. Next, add the mushrooms, and stir for 10 minutes until soft. Transfer your pancetta and mushroom mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Now bring your chicken stock and wine to a boil in a saucepan, immediately bring to a simmer.

Next, melt the rest of the butter in the heavy pan, and soften your onions for ten minutes. Add your garlic for the last minute, then add your arborio rice. Stir until the rice is nicely coated in butter, then add your pancetta mushroom mixture.

This is the part that takes patience, because at this point, everything smells SO GOOD. I take a small glass measuring cup and dip it into the wine chicken stock, to scoop up about half a cup of broth and slowly add it to the rice mixture. Keep stirring and allowing the rice to absorb the broth slowly. Repeat this for the next 20 minutes, until all your broth is gone, and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.

Remove from heat and add your grated parm, pepper to taste, and your lemon rind. I never add salt because I figure the pancetta and parmesan cheese are plenty salty, but feel free to do so.

All that's left is to dish it out, add some parmesan on top if you wish, and devour! Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2: Rolo Chocolate Chip Cookies, and a fun way to eat leftover risotto!

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