Food, Recipes

Friday night dinner: Risotto with pancetta and peas

Thanks to my three jobs + freelancing and Adrian’s coursework + rehearsals (not to mention the gym for both of us), we only get to cook dinner on the weekends. This Friday, I decided to use the Arborio rice in the cabinet and make a risotto a la carbonara.

Risotto a la carbonara

Risotto a la carbonara

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 oz. pancetta, cubed/diced
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • sweet peas (frozen or fresh) – about the same volume as the pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼-½ cup shredded Parmiggiano Reggiano
  • freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  • Heat the chicken stock to a simmer and keep it simmering
  • Heat some olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat
  • Add the onions and cook until almost translucent
  • Add the pancetta and brown it – don’t make it completely crispy
  • Turn the heat down a bit (about medium)
  • Add the rice and toast it, stirring constantly, for about a minute
  • Add about a cup of the simmering chicken stock and continue stirring until most of the liquid is gone
  • Continue the process, adding chicken stock about ½ cup at a time and stirring constantly
  • When there is a cup or so of chicken stock left to add, add the peas so that they have time to warm through
  • After all the chicken stock has been used (should be about 20 minutes of cooking time), turn off the heat and add the butter and pepper to taste. Stir until the butter has completely melted.
  • Add the shredded Parmiggiano and stir until well combined. Be careful not to break the peas!
  • Serve hot with more shredded Parm on top

I like risotto with a nice bright riesling, but we decided to have a beer instead:

Victory Prima Pils

Victory Prima Pils

Delicious! Oh, and the recipe makes enough to serve four as a main course.

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Food, Recipes

Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Last year, we had our first-ever Thanksgiving at home and I made it all myself (except for Kathy’s wonderful Poached Pears in Red Wine Sauce). She just hit me up for my cinnamon bread pudding recipe, so here goes:

Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 slices of cinnamon swirl bread, cubed (I use 10 slices of Pepperidge Farm)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup white sugar (can substitute in some brown if you’d like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • Put cubed bread in 8-inch square pan
  • Drizzle with melted butter
  • Mix eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla
  • Pour egg mixture over bread
  • Push the bread down and let absorb
  • Bake for about 45 minutes. The top will brown a bit and it should spring back when poked.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any dessert pictures on Thanksgiving, so here is an approximate idea of what it will look like:

Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Enjoy!

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Food, Recipes

Tea Eggs + Sorry!

Thanks to Vivian’s post about eggs, I started lusting after some tea eggs, a la my mother. I e-mailed her to ask what she did, and she called me back (from China!) about it. Here are her instructions – loosely translated, of course:

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Dark soy sauce (mushroom flavored is good)
  • Tea (loose or bagged) – black is the usual, but mother says anything goes. I would guess one bag for every 3 or so eggs.
  • Sugar
  • Star anise (??) – optional, but good for “more taste”

Directions:

  • Cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil over low heat
  • Boil for about 15 minutes (sounds like a long time to me but whatever)
  • Drain the water and rinse the eggs in cold water until you can handle them
  • Gently crack the eggshells, either by hand or with a spoon
  • Add soy sauce, tea, star anise (if desired), and a tiny bit of sugar to enough water to cover the eggs
  • Add the eggs and bring to a boil over low heat once again and let simmer for a couple of hours
  • Let cool and continue to soak in the sauce in the fridge, at least overnight and up to a few days
  • Enjoy them either warm or cold!

Even though Adrian claims to hate hardboiled eggs, I will be giving this a try after our weekend jaunt. I’ll try to remember to take pictures and write about it later on. Hopefully they’ll come out looking like this:

Tea Eggs

Tea Eggs (via Glass Petal Smoke)

By the way, I know at least my coworkers noticed that I made my first post during work time. It’s true – I took a break from programming and made an entry. My bad! I’ll try to refrain from doing that from now on, although it’s hard not to write a short bit about something at the moment I am thinking about it. Maybe I can just file things away for publishing later or something like that.

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