It has been an interesting week and a half. My daughter Jennifer and her husband Colin came in (a.k.a the “kids” – though they are adults!) Jeffery ran the riverbank, it was Mother’s day, my Aunt passed away, the dogs got sick at night and we had not one but two water leaks in the house.
There was a bunch of brightness in the week, though the temperatures plummeted. We got three new friends – a new Weber Summit Grill and Smith & Wesson (ok that counts as one) – a bunch of ammo and I have a date night with my hubby this week to learn gun safety!
My amazing husband trained for the riverbank starting in January 2013 with the Striders run club. Every Saturday, rain, snow, sleet or nice, he got out there and ran. He lost weight, I gained weight! I should’ve gone with him, but honestly, it didn’t seem like a hubby/wifely “let’s do this together” idea.
He ran it in darn good time, for an old guy! He had some interesting stories once he caught his breath and finished. To celebrate, I dug out some beef tenderloin left over from a previous party and finished out the dinner with some risotto: one of our favorites.
I pan seared my tenderloin steaks-just a little salt and pepper (or S&P as we call it in the industry! It’s important that you have your pan ripping hot, and then put your steaks down. They will caramelize nicely, you may need a touch of butter or oil, but that’s it. Why ruin a good steak.
The risotto can be done so many different ways. I know of people who tell me it’s to hard, time consuming and I don’t like to stir it! Less than 30 minutes and Jeff and I sat down to dinner.
The goal in risotto (which is really a style of cooking normally thought of with Arborio or short grain rice) is to toast the rice, and the broth slowly until it absorbs one ladle at a time, and then nacre it (a fancy word for finish with butter) at the end.
I had to do something special for Jeff, he’s a special guy!
Serves approximately 4
5 cups chicken stock - simmering
2 tablespoons oil
1 garlic clove crushed
1 leek, white part only sliced
1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
2 cups Arborio rice
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
To make the risotto
Heat the oil and garlic in a large heavy based sauce pan, add the leek, and fennel – cook over medium heat until slightly browned. Add the rice and stir for approximately 3 minutes, until translucent and smells kinda like popcorn.
Add the stock 1 cup at a time and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding liquid ½ cup at a time until all the stock has been incorporated, and the rice is al dente. This will take about 30 – 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Let cool slightly.
Note: you may omit the fennel and the leek and use a medium white onion. Risotto is very versatile, you can add mushrooms, asparagus, almost any vegetable about 5 minutes before it is done!