Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Barefoot Bloggers - Spring Green Risotto

I have to say I have grown to love risotto.  I love the creaminess of it.  I like the idea of all the different ingredients you can put in it.  I enjoy making risotto even though you have to stand there and babysit it.  My boys don't really care for risotto.  One will eat it one way and the other one definitely doesn't like lemon.

Spring Green Risotto by Ina Garten 


1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 cup chopped fennel
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 pound thin asparagus
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving


Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.

Bobby Flay Flank Steak

Last week my husband happen to be home while I was watching Bobbie Flay - Grill It.  Bobbie & his wife Stephanie were cooking flank steaks with a Mexican twist.  We thought the steaks looked great.  We planned to make this while our boys were at Boy Scout Camp. 

Before dropping the boys off, my husband and I preppred/cooked what needed to be cooked. 

I did not make the chimichurri sauce, instead I had made the tomatillo sauce.  I do have to say I love the tomatillo sauce over salsa.

It was a perfect evening grilling with my husband, having margaritas and sitting by the fire pit. 

Don't you just love the fancy plates... lol

Flank Steak Crostini by Bobby Flay



2 cups red wine
1 cup cassis
1/4 cup canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (2 to 3-pound) flank steak
Kosher salt

Chimichurri Sauce:

1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vidalia Relish:

3 Vidalia or other sweet onions, skin on, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Canola oil
1 tablespoon Bobby Flay Poultry Rub
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 green onions, sliced
1 serrano chile, minced with the seeds
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

To serve:

1 baguette
Olive or canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



Mix the wine, cassis, oil and black pepper in a nonreactive dish. Add the steak, turn to coat, and marinate at room temperature 1 hour.


Pulse the herbs and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse to make a soupy vinaigrette — it will look a bit creamy until it settles. Add more oil and/or vinegar if too thick. Set aside.

Preheat the grill to high. Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and more pepper. Grill, covered, until nicely charred and medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing across the grain.


Brush the onions with some canola oil and season with rub, salt and pepper. Grill the onions, turning, until charred and soft. Remove from the grill and chop coarsely. Chop again with the green onions and then stir them together with the chile, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Slice the baguette on a diagonal 1/4-inch thick. Brush with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill briefly, until just starting to crisp. Top each piece with some sauce, a slice or 2 of steak, more sauce and some relish.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Southwest Breakfast

My husband and I recently went out for breakfast.  That morning he had a Southwest omellette.  I thought I could make something like that.  So the next week I gave it a try.  I wanted something other than the hash browns so I cut up some tortillas and fried them in some oil. 

After I was done with the chips I got started on the eggs.  I made the normal omellette but added some peppers, cheese and onions.  When the eggs were done I topped it with more cheese to melt. 

I placed some chips down and placed the eggs on top.  Then I added some salsa topped witha  chip.  

We thought it was pretty tasty.

Garden 2010

This year I finally got my two raised veggie beds.  We ran to Home Depot to get the 2x4x8 (12) pieces of wood.  Do not use pressure treated. 

Our boys are in Boy Scouts and they are working on their Carpentry Merit Badges.  One of the requirements is to make a piece of furniture or something to use around the house (something like that).  They managed to make then in one afternoon with little assistance from my husband.  A couple days later we moved them to the spots, layed weedblock and shoveled in the compost.  Once the compost was in, I planted all the veggies (still need to buy the tomatoes).

Hopefully this year we will be having fresh lettuce, snow peas, sugar peas, brocolli, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, peppers and two different types of cucumbers. 

Here are my photos of the semi-finished garden.

I am still working on my herb garden.  I have added garlic, chives and tarragon this year.

Tomatillo Sauce

My husband and I went out for dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant Casa Blanca.  As with most Mexican Restaurants they bring out salsa and chips, well last time we were there they had brought out something that looked like cole slaw with the chips/salsa.  I didn't care for it.  This time they brought out the salsa, chips and a green semi watery concoction.  I was hesitant on trying it.  Once I did I loved it.  I rattled off to my husband what I thought was in it.  Then I asked the waiter the ingredients.  He said exactly what I thought and a couple more. 

Tomatillo Sauce

lime juice

I couldn't tell you how much I used since I was winging it.  I did boil the tomatillos for about 5 minutes, chopped and tossed into the blender with the rest of the ingredients.  I used a whole avocado which made the dip/sauce more creamier than what the restaurant served.

I will be making this more often...