Sunday, January 23, 2011

Risotto and Fish (again, not together)

Here's the dinner report for the last few days. I cooked Friday and tonight, and we had take-out pizza Saturday.

Friday, 1/21/11
Risotto with vegetables and smoked Gruyere

1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped finely
1 small to medium leek, split length-wise and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large carrot, chopped finely
a bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
3.5 ounces smoked Gruyere
1 cup arborio rice
.5 cup white wine
3.5 cups chicken broth

I made this like a basic risotto; I sauteed the vegetables, added the rice and herbs and then started stirring in the wine and chicken broth about 3/4 cup at a time allowing the broth to be fully absorbed before adding more. Once the rice is cooked, I added the Gruyere and some black pepper.

I think this risotto needed something to offset the smokiness of the Gruyere. It was creamy and rich with a distinct, but not overwhelming, smokiness; it's really good to add some along with the cheddar to the sauce when making macaroni & cheese. It might have been good to add a little Parmesan, which has a sharpness to it or even a little lemon juice or chopped fresh parsley. Perhaps a gremolata would have been good--a little lemon zest, minced fresh garlic, and chopped fresh parsley tossed together--sprinkled over the bowls of risotto right before serving. I definitely should have added some garlic, maybe just one clove, while sauteing the vegetables.

Sunday, 1/23/11
Red Snapper with Crispy Ginger and Baby Bok Choy

Snapper fillets pan-fried in oil and minced garlic, ginger matchsticks frizzled in oil then coated in low-sodium soy. Finally minced ginger, garlic, cabbage, and baby bok choy stir-fried in a non-stick pan tossed with a little soy. Served with brown rice.

This was very good, but the next time I make it, I think I'll reduce the temperature of the stove when cooking the fish and the ginger matchsticks. The fish was slightly dry, and the ginger matchsticks were on the verge of being burned (I managed to rescue them) with the stove on medium-high heat.

Tomorrow night will be leftovers, so I have the time to plan the rest of the meals for the week. I'm thinking chili at least one day. I'm thinking of making my chili with ground turkey instead of ground beef and seeing how it tastes. I'm also thinking of doing some baking this week. I want to try making scones again. I want to try making some with some lemon zest and currants. Either that, or I want to try to make some orange-cranberry scones. I love the ones at Starbucks, but I'd like to try making them myself; that way I know exactly what's going into them and they'll cost me much less.

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