Sweet Strawberry Risotto

Ingredients

 

  • 6 cups reduced fat milk
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 orange, Zest and juice of
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk

1 quart strawberries, 3 sliced, remaining chopped

 

Heat milk, sugar and vanilla until just simmering in a medium pot over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and keep hot. Set aside.

 

Melt butter in another medium pot over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and toasted, about 2 minutes. Add orange zest and juice and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add about 1 cup of the milk mixture and continue to simmer, vigorously stirring often, until almost absorbed, about 3 to 5 minutes more.

 

Repeat process until all of the milk mixture has been incorporated and rice is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes.

 

Remove pot from the heat and stir in coconut milk; set aside for 5 minutes. Spoon chopped strawberries into the bottom of small bowls, top with risotto, garnish with sliced strawberries and serve

Lemony Quinoa

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
sea salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
DIRECTIONS:
1. Toast the pine nuts briefly in a dry skillet over medium heat. This will take about 5 minutes, and stir constantly as they will burn easily. Set aside to cool.
2. In a saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then fluff with a fork.
3. Transfer the quinoa to a serving bowl and stir in the pine nuts, lemon juice, celery, onion, cayenne pepper, cumin and parsley. Adjust salt and pepper if needed before serving.

Quinoa Pudding

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 cups apple juice
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
salt to taste
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:
1. Place quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly. Allow to drain, then place quinoa in a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan with lid, lower heat, and allow to simmer until all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Mix in apple juice, raisins, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt. Cover pan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes longer. Stir in vanilla extract. Serve warm.

Red Wine Risotto with Peas

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice, or medium-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 

DIRECTIONS

Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the broth and keep it warm over very low heat. 

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook for about 2 minutes until the rice is toasted. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Repeat, adding 3/4 cup of hot broth 2 more times, stirring often, about 12 minutes longer. At this point, the risotto can be made 4 hours ahead. Refrigerate the risotto (the rice will still be firm) and remaining broth, uncovered, until cool, then cover and keep them refrigerated until ready to proceed. 

Bring the remaining broth to a simmer, then cover and keep it warm over very low heat. Stir 3/4 cup of hot broth into the partially cooked risotto over medium heat until the broth is absorbed and the risotto is hot, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining broth and simmer until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the peas and parsley. Add the 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into bowls. Sprinkle additional cheese over and serve.

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Polenta Gratin with Mushroom Bolognese

For the Bolognese sauce

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled and diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 8 to 12 ounces mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup brown chicken stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth

For the polenta

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta (yellow cornmeal)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

1. To prepare the Bolognese sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it moves easily across the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and thyme leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, cook about 2 minutes more, then add the stock, 2 tablespoons at a time, bringing the pan to a simmer before each addition. Simmer the Bolognese until it is concentrated but not yet dry, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. To make the polenta: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and gradually whisk in the polenta. Stirring constantly, bring the polenta to a boil, then adjust the heat to low. Cook the polenta, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer grainy, about 30 minutes. Whisk the oil and salt to taste into the polenta and remove it from the heat.

3. Assemble the gratin: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spoon half the polenta into a medium baking dish (an 11-inch oval dish works fine) and cover with half of the sauce. Spoon in the remaining polenta, spread it evenly, then sprinkle with the cheese. Transfer the remaining sauce to a small saucepan and reserve.

4. Bake the gratin until the top is golden, about 40 minutes. Just before serving, warm the reserved sauce over low heat. Divide the gratin and sauce among 4 plates, top each serving with sauce, and serve.

Creamy Soft Polenta with Meat Ragu

Makes 4-6 servings

Ragu

  • 3/4 pound dried porcini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 pound pork butt, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 pound Spanish onions, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Two 14-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, roughly chopped, juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seed
  • 1 bay leaf

Polenta

  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup yellow polenta or cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Torn fresh basil
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. To make the ragu: Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the wine over them. Set aside to soak and hydrate for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, reserving both the mushrooms and the wine. Strain the wine through a fine-mesh sieve or chinois.

2. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and much of the fat is rendered. Using a slotted spoon, lift the sausage from the pan and set aside. Add the pork and beef to the fat in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, lift the meat from the pan and add it to the sausage. Leave the fat in the pan.

3. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the reserved wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer briskly for about 3 minutes or until reduced by half.

4. Return the meat to the pan, season again with salt and pepper, and add the stock, tomatoes, basil, oregano, fennel, bay leaf, and reserved mushrooms. Simmer gently for approximately 1 hour, or until the meat is tender. Skim any fat that rises to the top of the pan during cooking. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

5. To make the polenta: Put the stock and the cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Slowly pour the polenta into the hot liquid, whisking briskly to prevent clumping. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

6. Add the cheese and butter, stirring gently until incorporated.

7. Spoon a mound of soft polenta on each of 4 or 6 plates or shallow bowls. Ladle the ragu over the polenta and garnish with basil, parsley, and grated Parmesan.

Golden Corn and Saffron Polenta

 

  • 2 tablespoons chicken fat or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed


preparation

Heat chicken fat in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion; cover and cook 5 minutes (do not brown). Add broth, 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, and saffron; bring to boil. Whisk in polenta. Cook, whisking constantly, until polenta boils and starts to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover; simmer until polenta is cooked through and very thick, stirring with flat- bottom spoon, about 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, blend corn kernels in processor until coarse puree forms; mix into polenta. Season with pepper.