Lobster Risotto with Peas and Saffron

This recipe is filling enough to be an entree all on its own when lobster tails are on sale at the grocery store.  Three medium/small lobster tails are enough for my 2 sons, my husband, and a hungry neighbor in need of dinner (plus me makes 5).

This is what you will need:

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3 lobster tails
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion
1 1/2 cups Aborio Rice
1/2 cup white wine (anything semi-dry to dry that is worth drinking, is worth cooking with!)
6-8 cups seafood or chicken stock – in a separate saucepan on low
1 package frozen peas, thawed
1 pinch kosher salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch saffron
1/4 cup good Parmesan cheese

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Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil over medium high heat.  Pour stock into saucepan to heat over low heat and grab a ladle.

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Cook the onions in the melted butter and oil until they become translucent but are not yet caramelizing.  This should take approximately five minutes.

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Add the rice and coat with the fat.   You’re committed to this risotto relationship now and cannot leave its side.  Make sure you GENTLY stir constantly.  Do not let it stick or burn.  Monitor the onions and watch for them to just begin to brown on the edges….you’re there.  Add the wine (still stirring) and prepare for the sizzle.

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Once all of the wine has been absorbed you’re ready to begin ladling in the warm stock, 1/2 cup at a time, while stirring, nonstop.  You will know when you should add more liquid after each addition when it looks like this:

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DO NOT LET IT STICK – Gentle continuous stirring.

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After 15 minutes, add the peas, salt, pepper and saffron (a little saffron goes a LONG way and the stuff isn’t exactly cheap, use a little at a time).

Liquid, stir, liquid, stir…..in the meantime, prepare the lobster.

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Prepare these little guys any way you like.  I recommend removing from the shell and cooking in melted butter on medium heat for 2 minutes a side (you want the lobster to be just slightly underdone).  Remove and roughly chop into bite-sized pieces.  Don’t forget to stir the risotto!  Add some liquid too.
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After 15 additional minutes, your risotto should be getting close.  Keep tasting your rice.  When you have reached your desired texture, take it OFF of the heat.

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Add the Parmesan cheese, 2 more ladles of stock and the last tablespoon of butter.  Put a lid on the rice and set the table, call the kids, pour the wine.    Let the risotto rest for five minutes without stirring in the butter, cheese and stock.

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When you are ready to serve, stir in the lobster.  The cheese should be nice and melted and ready to incorporate.  If you feel like it is too sticky add a little more stock and stir until consistent and creamy.

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Ladies and gentlemen, lobster risotto.  Enjoy!

Chinese Pork Wontons

Looking for something spicy for a cool autumn evening?  These wontons deliver in a big way.  This is my twist on a traditional Sichuan classic.

Won-ton wrappers can usually be found at your local Asian market in the frozen section.
Won-ton wrappers can usually be found at your local Asian market in the frozen section.
These Chinese chives are available in the Asian market as well. You need one bunch. Be sure to remove all of the yellow blooms from the top and discard.
These Chinese chives are available in the Asian market as well. You need one bunch. Be sure to remove all of the yellow blooms from the top and discard.
2 lbs of ground pork. I like to buy the country style pork ribs and grind them with the Kitchenaid.
2 lbs of ground pork. I like to buy the country style pork ribs and grind them with the Kitchenaid.

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Finely chop the top half of the chives.
Finely chop the top half of the chives.
2 Tbls minced garlic, 2 Tbls small diced ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons small diced ginger
2 Tbls dark soy sauce, 2 Tbls sesame oil. Combine everything in your bowl.
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil.
Combine everything in your bowl.
Combine with 1 cup of chicken stock and stir until consistent.
Combine with 1 cup of chicken stock and stir until consistent.
Add some crushed ginger to cold water and prepare to assemble.
Add some crushed ginger to cold water and prepare to assemble.
Add a tablespoon of the filling to the center of each wrapper and moisten 2 edges.
Add a teaspoon of the filling to the center of each wrapper and moisten 2 edges.
Fold in half and seal.
Fold in half and seal.

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This is what they look like after folding.
This is what they look like after folding.

For a more thorough description of how to fold these wontons, please check out this link:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/to-form-water-caltrop-wontons-51147800

Folded and ready for boiling.
Folded and ready for boiling.
Drop into boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, add a cup of cold water. Once it begins to boil again, add another cup of boiling water. Once it begins to boil the third time, they should be cooked through. Drain and divide into bowls.
Drop into boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, add a cup of cold water. Once it begins to boil again, add another cup of cold water. Once it begins to boil the third time, they should be cooked through. Drain and divide into bowls.
They wrinkle up like little brains.
They wrinkle up like little brains.
For the sauce combine 5 tbls chili oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar and 2 tbls soy sauce.
For the sauce combine 5 tbls chili oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sugar and 2 tbls soy sauce.

Chili sauce is no joke and I make my own.  This is the recipe that I use:  http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/02/fuchsia-dunlops-chilli-oil.html

Chili oil.
Chili oil.
Drizzle a tbls of the sauce over the hot dumplings and serve immediately.
Drizzle a tbls of the sauce over the hot wontons and serve immediately.
If you would like to try more authentic Chinese recipes, I highly recommend this cookbook.
If you would like to try more authentic Chinese recipes, I highly recommend this cookbook.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393089045?keywords=every%20grain%20of%20rice&qid=1445516051&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Baked Steak and Gravy

When I am really missing my childhood and thinking about my Mom, I make baked steak.  It was the first meal I called home to learn how to make when I moved away from home.  This is a combination of Mom, Nana and Nan’s recipe.  That’s three West Virginia grandmothers all combined in one 🙂  Total comfort food.  Since a whole stick of butter died for the sake of this meal, I decided to ease off of the potatoes and go with a mashed celery root instead.

Here’s my recipe:

Start with some chopped sirloin, cubed steak or any other tenderized steak that you can find on sale.  Prepare 2 cups of flower with a tablespoon of salt and a 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper.  Coat all of your steaks in the mixture and then save the leftover flour mix for later.

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Melt 1 stick of butter in a dutch oven over med-high heat.  Cook the steaks 2-3 at a time until just browned on both sides.

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There are still going to be some red juices but that’s okay.  Pile the steaks on a plate until all are slightly browned.  Leave the pot on the heat.

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Add a tablespoon of butter to the browned bits and start scraping.  Next add 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to make a very thick roux.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add 3 cups of beef broth and whisk till smooth.

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Add steaks to the gravy and fill up the dutch oven with water until steaks are covered.  Into the oven at 350 for 1 hour.

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I can’t imagine better comfort food.  If you like this recipe, check out my bacon wrapped meatloaf!

Spatchcock

If you are a working mother and you have not tried this….

You are missing out on an hour and a half meal!

I’m not too good to admit that Martha has the supreme recipe http://www.marthastewart.com/355976/roast-spatchcocked-turkey

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Cauliflower Pizza Deluxe

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Food process the cauliflower until it is wet and mushy. Boil the mush for 5 minutes. Drain into colander and cool for 10 minutes. Wrap in a clean kitchen rag and twist to drain all water out.
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These little guys were too tempting to pass up!
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Sundried tomatoes in oil.
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2 eggs, 2/3 cup ricotta and 1/3 cup coconut flour and drained, cooked cauliflower.
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Shape and bake at 400 for 45 minutes
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Chop them small so the kiddos will not suspect
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Assemble Ingredients
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You want this bad boy to be dry, really dry
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Ready for 2nd bake
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Bake with toppings for 10 more minutes and then hit with the broiler for the last 2
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Let it cool for 5 minutes
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Slice it!
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Serve it.
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Give it to one of my hungry sons.
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Receive praise 🙂