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A new home and a new recipe!

You may have noticed a lack of blogging in July.

That’s because I moved! I bought a house! And as such, my kitchen is still a huge mess and I haven’t been cooking all that much. Cold cuts, tuna salad, pizza and subway have been a consistent part of my diet for the past few weeks.

But Sunday night, I broke out of my rut with a basic pork chop recipe and a vegetable risotto.

I love risotto, but I always managed to forget what a pain it is to make. You have to stir and stir and stir. I’m also convinced every time I make it that there is no way that the arborio rice will absorb all of the water or broth you pour in. I’m always proved wrong.

I found the recipe on the Food Network website, but adapted it a little bit. (I was missing a few ingredients — vermouth, lemon zest, and asparagus)

Ingredients: 6 cups water, freshly ground black pepper, 4 tbsp unsalted butter, 8 oz sliced mushrooms, 1 shallot diced, 1 1/2 cup arborio rice, 3 to 4 generous springs of fresh thyme,  1/2 cup parmesan, 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed, 2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions: Simmer water and keep on low heat. Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally. Season with pepper and then set aside.

In a large pot,  add another 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and let brown slightly until nutty. Add the shallot to the pot and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir so that it is coated with the butter and glossy, about 1 minute.  Add the thyme springs. Ladle in about 1/2 cup of the simmering water and stir constantly, until the rice again absorbs the liquid, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue ladling in about 1/2 cup of water at a time, stirring between additions and letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more.

Stir in water until the rice is soft.

Add mushrooms, peas and lemon juice. Stir in parmesan.

Still lots of stirring to go at this point. Note the mushrooms hanging out on the back burner, waiting to be added.

And it’s ready to go!

Then it was pork chop time.

Ingredients: 2 pork chops, flour, fresh ground pepper, kosher salt, 2-3 springs of fresh thyme, 2 tbsp butter

Directions: Coat pork chops in flour and season with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt. Heat butter in large pan and add pork chops. Cook. adding thyme and more pepper if needed.  Turn pork chop over in pan until it is cooked all the way through.

I have to admit, I sort of spilled the salt, which led to way more salt going onto the pork chops, but they were fantastic. The risotto was just so-so. It tasted good, but it didn’t really go with the pork chops. I think I’d want to try it with all the ingredients it is supposed to have before I passed judgment.

Stay tuned for more cooking adventures in the new kitchen!

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