Spring Green Risotto (Ina Garten)


The first recipe for the month of May for the Barefoot Bloggers  was chosen by Kimberly of Indulge & Enjoy. This is my first time making risotto, gotta say I actually enjoyed standing by the stove listening to the radio and stirring away for half an hour. I couldn’t get any decent asparagus so I replaced it with  frozen broadbeans, aka fava beans. I didn’t think we’d like it but it turned out quite nice, I’m not saying I did a great job but I did ok, which is good enough for me and thanks to Kimberly I’ve made my first ever risotto.

Serves:

4 servings for dinner, 6 servings for appetizer

 

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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.

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Pea & Ham Soup


 

 

Ingredients

  • 500g  dried split green peas
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 smoked ham hock or smoked bacon bones
  •  Water (about 5 cups)
  • Cream (optional)

Method

Place the peas in a large bowl and give them a little wash

Put  the peas, onion, carrot, ham hock or bacon bones into a large pot & add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer & simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every now and then.

Remove the ham hock from the soup then remove the skin & discard, shred the meat set aside.

Using a stick blender, blitz the soup until smooth. Taste for seasoning & adjust to taste, I find the ham hocks salty enough so I don’t add any salt.

Ladle into bowls & top with the shredded  ham.

Drizzle with a little cream if you like.

Note: You can buy the smoked ham hocks & bacon bones from your deli.

This soup can be frozen for about a month in airtight containers.

This soup thickens alot when cooled, I always add a little water to it when re heating.

Cheddar Corn Chowder (Ina Garten)


This recipe was chosen by Jill of My Next Life for the Barefoot Bloggers, another great recipe from Ina Garten. I blitzed mine for a more creamy and velvety taste and texture. This was alot of soup for the 2 of us so I froze the remainder in single portions for another time, thanks Jill.

 Cheddar Corn Chowder

Ingredients

  

  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
  • 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.