Smooth Barley and Broccoli Risotto (Orzotto)

Smooth Broccoli Barley Risotto (Orzotto)  It was the first time I tried making barley risotto and found it’s a very nice alternative to the traditional rice based kind. Continue reading

Usually I like to bite into the texture of the added ingredients to the dish but, mashing the broccoli allows a nice balance with each bite you take. One great thing with this dish or any kind of risotto is when you have some leftovers. I often make an extra portion and the following day I make croquettes out of it. Usually I just shape the rice or barley into little balls, eventually I dip them into an egg wash and then I coat them with breadcrumbs and brown them in a pan with a little olive oil. When I was small, I used to look forward to the day-after risotto makeover…

 

 

Smooth Barley and Broccoli Risotto (Orzotto)

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients

300 g blanched broccoli florets

1.2 l vegetable stock (hot)

80-100 g Grated cheese (Sbrinz, Parmesan, Grana…)

1 onion

5 tbsp butter

300 g pearled barley

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 pinch salt

Pepper

 

Recipe:

Process the broccoli until pureed and set aside.

Chop the onion and place it in a pan with 1-2 tbsp. butter, cook until soft, about 4-5 min. Turn up the heat and add the barley, toss and cook for about a minute. Add the lemon juice and the zest while wile you keep on stirring.

Once the lemon has been absorbed into the rice, reduce heat and start adding 1 ladle of stock with a pinch of salt while continuously stirring. Once the stock has been absorbed add the second ladle. Continue stirring and each time the stock has been absorbed add another ladle. After about 25 minutes taste the barley to check if it’s cooked, if not, continue for another few minutes.

Once you’re satisfied with the consistence of the rice, add the mashed broccoli and some pepper and stir to combine.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the butter with the grated cheese. Serve, eventually with some additional grated cheese on top.

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole It’s almost the weekend and with my boyfriend we were supposed to go to… to… we haven’t decided yet. Continue reading

Well, we were supposed to go on weekend but unfortunately he forgot he already had an engagement so we have postponed it to October and I think it’ll be Basel: the city he cherishes because he studied there and personally I like the place. One thing I’m really looking forward to is a bit (or a lot) of shopping. After two months I’m really motivated about shopping, unlike my boyfriend. The only thing he looks for when we go shopping is the couch or any kind of seating surface available. At least he forgets about the waiting time he has endured when we go out for a tapas dinner. About food, I made this recipe yesterday; it fit well with the weather that was cloudy and cool. I took as a reference for this recipe Broccoli Cheddar and Wild Rice Casserole from smittenkitchen.

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole 4 Spinach and Mushroom Rice CasseroleSpinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole

 

 

Spinach and Mushroom Rice Casserole

 

Recipe for 4 as a side or 2 as a main meal

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 50 min

 

Ingredients

For the rice:

130 g rice

300 g spinach

1 onion

100 g button mushrooms

2 tbsp. diced sundried tomatoes

2 tbsp. butter

3-4 dl vegetable or chicken stock (preferably low in salt)

Salt and pepper

 

For the topping:

2 tbsp. butter

Nutmeg

2 tbsp. flour

1.5 dl milk

3 dl vegetable or chicken stock (preferably low in salt)

60 g grated Swiss cheese

2 tbsp. breadcrumbs

 

Recipe

 

Heat oven at 200°C.

Grease a baking dish.

Chop the onion and slice the mushrooms.

Cook the spinach in a pan. Once done place them in a sieve and remove excess liquid and then chop.

In a pan heat 2 tbsp. butter and add the onion. Cook until translucent (about 4-5 min) then add the mushrooms. Season with the salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms have browned. Add the sundried tomatoes and the rice: cook for about a minute. Add one dl of stock and wait for it to be absorbed by the rice while stirring often. Once the rice has become somewhat dry, add the second dl of and repeat until the third dl of stock will have been absorbed (this should take about 15-18 min). Add the chopped spinach, mix and pour into a greased baking dish.

In a pan melt the butter, add a little nutmeg and cook for a minute or so on low heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for a 3-4 minutes and start adding in the milk little by little while still whisking. Add the broth too and cook for about 5 min or until thickened. Remove from heat, add in half of the grated cheese and stir until melted.

Evenly pour the white sauce over the rice and vegetables. On top sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese and the breadcrumbs. Eventually you can add a few small pieces of butter to make the top even more golden brown coloured.

Place in the oven for about 15 min.

“Älpler” Risotto

“Älpler” RisottoIn Switzerland there is a recipe called “älplermagronen” which translates as the “alpine herdsman macaroni”. Continue reading

This recipe contains pasta (which is sometimes directly cooked in milk) potatoes, cheese and it’s served with onions on top. It’s a delicious recipe but I wanted to do something different, so I made a risotto out of it. To begin with I looked up for a potato risotto recipe I liked which can be found here (in Italian) and from there I made my own adaptations. For the caramelised onions I followed this recipe that I find to be relatively quick and I like the taste of the end result.

Tomorrow is my weekly lunch with my mother who has been proclaimed by her boyfriend as the “risotto queen” and I thought it would be interesting to know what she thinks of my dish. Like traditions, this weekly meeting is something I find comforting: it’s there, it’s regular and we both enjoy it since we can speak our mind more freely than with anyone else. The subjects are often the same but who cares, it’s our moment. Maybe I’ll finally tell her about the old vase I broke before I left for my holiday. I guess the good thing about having the people close to you not reading your blog is that it can be liberating… my mother doesn’t use the internet and my boyfriend doesn’t read it because English is too much of an effort for him.

“Älpler” Risotto “Älpler” Risotto “Älpler” Risotto

 

“Älpler” Risotto

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 35-40 min

 

Ingredients

1 onion

280 g potatoes

280 g rice

100 g alpine cheese (alternatively use Gruyere or Appenzeller cheese)

1.4 l stock (it has to be hot)

1 dl white wine

Pepper

4 tbsp olive oil

2 knobs of butter

 

For the caramelized onions

2 red onions

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt

 

Recipe

For the caramelised onions start by thinly slicing them. Place them in a pan and cook them for 25 min on a low heat, stir occasionally. Now add the sugar and the balsamic vinegar and further cook for another 5-10 min.

While the onions are on the fire thinly chop the onion , peel the potatoes and dice them into 1 cm cubes and cut the cheese into small pieces.

Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to a pan with high sides, add the onion and cook until translucent with a couple tbsp. stock on a medium fire.

Add the potatoes and further cook for another couple of minutes.

Pour in the wine and after a short moment add 1-1.5 ladles of stock, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stir occasionally. Once the time has passed remove the lid, raise the heat and let the liquid evaporate. Towards the end stir constantly as the potatoes tend to stick to the bottom.

Add another couple of tbsp. of oil and then stir in the rice and toast it well for about one min on a medium fire.

Add 1/3 of the stock and set the timer according to package instructions (usually it’s 15-18 min). Stir regularly and add more stock as it’s being absorbed. Do not let it become too dry as it might spoil the end result.

One min before the risotto is ready add the cheese and the butter, once they have melted serve with the caramelised onions on top.

 

Grilled Zucchini and Bacon Risotto

Grilled Zucchini and Bacon Risotto (800 x 587)Okay, I’ll tell the truth: Continue reading

this is my first attempt at risotto (and I felt really quite happy about the result). Although I live less than a two hour drive from Milan, I have never really made risotto, I used to only be an observer of the process. I guess I found it a boring dish for a reason I am still trying to figure out. I guess that leaving for a week to Portugal gave me some new stimulus in trying out new recipes,  I feel so refreshed. By the way, I totally recommend Portugal as a destination, from the food to the people and also the whole city of Lisbon, all is really beautiful. I particularly liked the little streets and the beautiful buildings decorated with tiles that come in just so many colours and designs. It was a great opportunity to practice my photography skill (which are still at a beginner level).


About Risotto:


Between the 1300 and the 1700 rice was attributed one unique way of cooking: and that is in water. It was in 1779 that a cook from Macerate in the Marche region in Italy wrote about gently fried a bit of butter and wetting the rice with broth. Very soon the technique became more elaborated by adding, for example, some chopped onion. Through time risotto became more complex but it was in 1929 that a well known cook in Milan named Felice Luraschi published a recipe book  called “Il Nuovo Cuoco Milanese Economico” (or “The New Economic Milanese Cook”). The recipe called for rice with butter, beef marrow, saffron, nutmeg, stock and completed with grated cheese (source – Italian: http://www.risottoallamilanese.com/ )

 


Grilled Zucchini and Bacon Risotto


Recipe for 2


Time: 35-40 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 zucchini

8 slices of streaky bacon

20g butter (plus a small teaspoon for a finishing touch)

1 onion

100g risotto rice

30g parmesan cheese

2.5dl stock

4-5 basil leaves

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:


Slice the zucchini at an angle (about 1 cm thick). Pour one teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan (if you don’t have one just use an normal non-stick pan). Once the zucchini slices are coloured on both sides remove from the heat and set them aside.

Bring the broth to a boil and set aside.

Heat another pan and add the bacon to cook until brown and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe the pan and on a low heat add the butter along with the onions . Without letting the onions brown cook them until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and cook for another 4-5minutes, stir often until the grains are translucent. Add 1/3 of the broth and stir often until all the liquid has been absorbed. Once the rice looks more on the dry side add the second third and stir regularly again. Finally, repeat the operation of adding broth for a last time and stir until rice has basically soaked up the liquid.

Add the grated cheese and incorporate it in the preparation. Cut the bacon and the zucchini into small pieces and chop the basil. Add the three ingredients with to the rice and blend them in. To make your risotto richer here is when  you can add a bit more butter. Eventually correct to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve and drizzle a little bit of olive oil and optionally some parmesan shavings.