Saturday, February 07, 2009


Yes we're back in Italy but still, it's central Italy and it's February, so the weather is nothing to get excited about. So far we've seen the sun peek through for a few minutes each day, and the rest of the time it's been cloudy, dreary and cold! This is the sort of weather that makes me want to turn on the oven and cook up some comfort food.

Today I was inspired by a another blogger, Sandi over at Whistlestop Café Cooking. Her recipe for Lemon Caper Chicken sounded like an interesting way to jazz up boring old chicken breasts, and it seemed like the perfect accompaniment for a lemon risotto recipe I wnated to try.

The only way to get bone in, skin on chicken breasts around here is to buy a whole chicken and cut it up. All I had on hand was boneless, skinless chicken breasts and I think the recipe would have been much better with a bone in breast. Never-the-less, the chicken was good, and the risotto the perfect compliment. Here's the risotto recipe, and for those who think the cream is just too decadent, if you can find Land O' Lakes fat free cream you could save a few calories in the process!

Lemon Risotto

2 shallots
1 rib celery
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups Arborio rice
Approximately 1 quart vegetable stock
1/2 unwaxed lemon, zested and juiced
Needles from 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more, for garnish
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper, preferably white
Salt to taste

Finely chop the shallots and celery. Heat half the butter, the oil and the shallot and celery mixture in a wide saucepan, and cook to soften the mixture for about 5 minutes, making sure it doesn't stick. Mix in the rice, stirring to give it a good coating of oil and butter. Meanwhile, heat the stock in another saucepan and keep it at the simmering point.

Put a ladleful of the stock into the rice and keep stirring until the stock is absorbed. Then add another ladleful and stir again. Continue doing this until the rice is al dente. You may not need all of the stock, equally, you may need to add hot water.

Mix the lemon zest and the rosemary into the risotto, and in a small bowl beat the egg yolk, lemon juice, Parmesan, cream and pepper. When the risotto is ready - when the rice is no longer chalky, but still has some bite - take it off the heat and add the bowl of egg/lemon mixture, and the remaining butter and salt, to taste. Serve with more Parmesan if you wish.

And now, the answer to yesterday's question about the gadget I brought back from the states. Did you know what it is? Here's the picture one more time:


And the answer is.........

It's a handy-dandy spoon-holder that clips on to the edge of a pot! Janie, you were right!


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At 2/08/2009 07:35:00 AM , Blogger Valerie said...

Welcome home...finally! That's a handy-dandy little gizmo there. Never seen that before.


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