Smoky Pumpkin Risotto with Burrata
Crumbled Fried Sage
Happy Halloween! The culinary SORCERESS has a real TREAT to share in the SPIRIT of the holiday…a SMOKY creamy pumpkin risotto in which she BURIES a MONSTROUS wedge of burrata. This TRICK she learned from gastronomic WIZARD two-star Michelin chef Julian Serrano. He SUBMERGES burrata under his BLOOD-RED Risotto Al Vino Rosso at restaurant Lago in Las Vegas.
BEWARE, this dish is only for those with a GHOULISH ATTRACTION to fresh mozzarella cheese stuffed with heavy cream, aka burrata. Topped with crumbled fried sage, it is a BEWITCHING seasonal risotto and so FRIGHTFULLY good.
Smoky Pumpkin Risotto Recipe
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Meyer Lemon Risotto Balls with Parmesan and Mascarpone
Edible Flower Confetti
Crispy on the outside – warm, creamy, cheesy, and lemony on the inside – these little risotto balls (arancini in Italian) are simply irresistible. And if the texture and flavor aren’t enough to make you swoon, I’m dressing them up with pretty flower petal confetti and lacy Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve them with your favorite Italian white wine and enjoy happy hour!
Meyer Lemon Risotto Recipe
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Carrot, Cumin, Vodka, Creme Fraiche
Parmesan, Nasturtium Blossom
I just happened to be thinking about making risotto while reading the Proud Italian Cook’s fabulous new ebook, Italian Sauces My Way (highly recommended and available here). In her book, my friend Marie has a recipe for Vodka Cream Sauce which she recommends spooned over steamed mussels, ravioli, gnocchi, or the classic penne pasta. It’s not a complicated sauce but the vodka makes it fancy, taking her delicious basic marinara to another level. Anyway, her wonderful sauce got me thinking about pairing vodka and risotto.
Other than tomato, what vegetable would pair well with vodka? Beet, celery, and carrot all sounded right. I decided to make the first trial with carrot. I added a kiss of cumin and a some creme fraiche for the creamy element. The color was so incredibly lovely, I didn’t want to detract from it. So the dish was finished with a nasturtium flower from the garden, keeping that monochromatic look.
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Spinach Mushroom Risotto with Toasted Pecans
Chiffonade of Fresh Spinach Garnish
Combining two favorite risotto dishes – spinach risotto and mushroom risotto, into one – and adding toasted pecans plus an unexpected garnish of fresh spinach ribbons equals one bright and satisfying vegetarian meal. Crunchy toasted pecans contrast the creamy risotto, earthy caramelized mushrooms complement tender wilted baby spinach. A sprinkle of Parmesan and glass of wine were the only accompaniments.
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Cocktail Hour @ Ciao Fiore!
Meyer Lemon Arancini, Flower Petal Confetti, Parmesan
It’s cocktail hour at Ciao Fiore! Meyer Lemon Risotto left over from the previous night’s service is formed into balls, coated with panko bread crumbs, and fried in canola oil. We need to watch our food costs so here we transform the day-old risotto into a delightful bar appetizer. Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a sprinkling of flower petal confetti make the presentation pop!
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Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto
Edible flowers are so darn pretty, it is easy to use them to garnish the plate and call it good. No complaints. But for this challenge I wanted to incorporate the flowers into my dishes so as to marry the flavors and colors, to create a synergy where all the elements of the dish are enhanced.
Lemon trees and rose bushes thrive side-by-side in the garden. The colors yellow and pink make a delightful pair. And the aromas of citrus plus floral make for a heady perfume. And so Meyer Lemon & Pink Rose Petal Risotto was born. A hint of rose water plus a chiffonade of “passionate kisses” rose petals transform this creamy citrus risotto into a blissful dish.
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Sushi Rice with Rosé & Sautéed Shrimp
Flavored with Thai Basil, Shiso, and Yuzu
Chiffonade of Shiso Garnish
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Asparagus Risotto with Gorgonzola
Recently I was the happy recipient of some beautiful bundles of thick and thin asparagus from my friends at Gourmet Trading Company.
Elegant asparagus’ peak season is Springtime. If you are in the depths of a really cold winter, maybe this post can lift your spirits? Spring is (almost) around the corner. Gourmet Trading Company imports and distributes top-quality fresh asparagus from the areas where it grows naturally in the Americas. This month asparagus is flourishing on their farms in Peru.
Trim thin stalks of asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces and steam in salted boiling water until tender. Shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
When there are presents to wrap and cookies to bake it’s nice to have a meal that takes only a few minutes of active cooking time and the ingredients are already on hand in the pantry and the freezer.
Box. Bag. Can.
Box of Cheese Risotto – just add water, white wine, a tablespoon of butter
Bag of Frozen Shrimp – cleaned, uncooked, tail-on
Can of Corn – drained
Add water, wine, butter, and risotto mix to pot.
Bring to boil, lower heat, stir occasionally.
When the rice is almost cooked, pour in lots of frozen shrimp, right from the bag.
When the shrimp are pink and the risotto is al dente add corn and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallions.
“The feast of the seven fishes is a tradition that Italians follow every Christmas Eve. La Vigilia or the vigil is kept with the custom of dining on 7 fish dishes as we await the birth of the savior at midnight,” writes Maryann. She and Joe are hosting this fabulous Seven Fishes Feast event. I thought they might enjoy a quick yet very tasty dish to add to their bountiful buffet, so I am sending this shrimp over their way, along with wishes for a dazzling Christmas!
A funny thing happens when one totes the camera around, ready to take a photograph of the next tasty morsel…the eye starts to notice other than food-related photo opportunities, a serendipity of a food blog indeed! I am grateful for the chance to capture some images of my surroundings and to be able to share a glimpse of the beauty of Southern California with you.
Sunset over the Port of Long Beach
at Bluff Park, Ocean Blvd. Long Beach, California