The Foodie Blogroll

An Italian Comfort Food Enjoyed By All

Risotto Milanese

Recipe taken from here

"Forget the stove risotto". What is that hogwash? The fun thing about making risotto is having to constantly watch over it to see if the stock and wine have reduced, to see your hard work get turned into a masterpiece. Often I see comments like the above for in the stove risotto. I have to admit the first time I made risotto I did it in the stove, the only reason was because I wanted it to actually turn out since it was for a holiday meal where I was actually having people over... however, that didn't turn out so great (the meal did), but I ended up burning an oven mitt, err...

Nonetheless, I love making stove-top risotto, it reminds me of my grandmother and makes me nostalgic. I think the results are better too because it has one special ingredient that in the stove risotto doesn't have; love.

Now, I never mentioned, but last year my mom took a European cruise. One of the places that she went to visit was Turkey. With that she brought both my brother and I (my brother is going to school to become a chef, funny how food runs in our family) tonnnnns of spices home, including saffron. Now, this is incredibly good saffron and it tastes' wonderful too. When she brought that home, I kind of went on a saffron binge and bookmarked tons of recipes containing saffron, one of my favourite being the Saffron Ice Cream and a recipe I later made Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Marinara and Saffron. However, one recipe that I had saved over the summer was for Risotto Milanese. It wasn't until this week that I finally made it, feels like I had the recipe forever, but seeing as I started scheduling my meals again I had to make room for this dish and am I ever glad I did.

In the summer my brother had made it, and both him and my dad went on about how it tasted sooooo good. Well, they were certainly right. When I first looked at the bowl, I felt odd since it was just a big bowl of starch and carbohydrates. No protein, no vegetables, dairy if you want to include the Parmesan and butter, but y'know what I'm saying. However, once I took my first bite all those thoughts disappeared. I didn't care how much fat was in this dish, or how many calories were in each bite, or the fact that my plate was simply yellow with no green or red, no, this was a masterpiece. It was so delicious. I didn't even want to stop to inhale each bite because it was so good, (obviously I did because I needed to savour it as well), but it was incredibly delicious.

I love when using saffron, and you infuse it with your liquid and it turns your dish a beautiful bright yellow, it just makes the dish so much warmer, and this was no different this time. I loved it, and will certainly be making it again!

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock, hot
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
Directions:
In a large dutch oven or another deep pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile add the saffron to the stock, stirring to infuse. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the wine to the toasting rice, and then add a 4 to 6-ounce ladle of the saffron-infused stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese until well mixed.


Quick Fish Stew

Recipe from me

Over the Christmas break my dad, brother and I went to my aunt and uncle's place for lunch. One of the items I ate since they were eating pizza with meat on it was this beautiful fish stew. The sauce had the flavour of a beautiful Italian tomato sauce you'd put on your spaghetti but the consistency was more of a broth. The flavour was so rich and was further enhanced by the fish. Unfortunately I never got the recipe from her, hopefully next time I see her however I will be able to pick her brain for it.

With that being said, I tried to come up with a simple fish stew. It did not replicate the one my aunt made, however, this one was just as tasty. I quite thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my mom and her boyfriend. It was indeed very scrumptious. I had one bowl, then went up for seconds. Not only did it taste fantastic it was incredibly simple, everything went into the Dutch oven and simply let it simmer for a little while, and the results, incredible.

Ingredients:
  • 1-2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mined
  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
  • Small can of Unico diced tomatoes (the can with the herbs in it)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • A large pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 medium sized Ziploc bag of shrimp
  • 10-14 medium scallops
  • 2 tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper
Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; add onions, carrots and celery and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, parsley, white wine and saffron and bring to a light boil. Cover, reduce to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to allow flavors to come together. Salt and pepper the fish liberally, then remove cover and add scallops, tilapia, shrimp and spinach. Make sure to mix the fish into the sauce. Cover and simmer until fish is cooked through, about 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

I had made this by itself more as a soup/stew, however, rice would be a nice touch to it as well!

Get your stretchy pants on!

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