Wednesday, January 16, 2013

warm food for a cold day

I find creamy rice to be the ultimate comfort food.  Well, truthfully, I find chocolate to be the ultimate comfort food, but I can't serve that for dinner.  Very often.  
Recently, Steve and I tried another new recipe from La Tartine Gourmande- Gorgonzola and pear risotto.  Risotto is a dish that takes patience, so it's great for a night when you have nothing else to do but hang out in your warm kitchen with people you love.  It's sort of an event in itself, making risotto.  

1/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
3 red pears
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus extra
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 1/2 cups carnaroli or Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
3 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

Dice 2 1/2 pears and thinly slice the remaining 1/2 pear.  In a frying pan, melt 1 Tbsp. butter and cook diced pear 3-4 minutes until soft; set aside.  Add a little extra butter to the pan and cook the pear slices 1-2 minutes on each side; set aside.
Heat the broth in a pot and keep warm.
In the same frying pan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.  Add the oil, shallot, leek, rosemary, and thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until soft and fragrant.  Add the rice and cook for 1 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed. 
Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring occasionally.  Wait until the rice has absorbed all the liquid before adding more broth.  Repeat until you only have 3/4 cup broth remaining, then stir in the diced pears and add the rest of the broth.  Cook until done and remove from heat. 
Stir in the cheeses and season with pepper.  Cover and let sit for 2 minutes.  Discard the thyme and rosemary and stir in the parsley.
Garnish with pear slices, walnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil.  
We both loved this dish!  I had intended to make a salad to go with it, but in the end, we just ate the risotto as our whole meal.  It's one of those dishes that could easily be eaten out of a deep bowl, in your pajamas, on the sofa.  Perfect for a movie night or a snow storm or just a wintry Saturday. 
Speaking of snow, I'm wishing for some, as it's 45 degrees and rainy here.  Thankfully, the house is nice and warm and I'm working my way through a large pile of sewing projects that all need to be completed this week.  If the sun ever comes back out, I'll snap some pictures to share!  

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