Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Marvelous Mushroom Risotto"

We are back in action!  I have missed cooking and blogging so much while away on the road, or while being a "single mom" while my husband has had to be away on business travel.  I enjoy cooking for my husband so much because having "family dinners" is so important to me, and is essential to a healthy childhood for our children.

We have been collecting our donations for a while now, and this next donation is actually going to go to a village in Haiti.  I met a lovely young lady on a recent flight to Chicago whom is living with a host family here in the states while she attends school.  She is one of nine children, and comes from a village in Haiti.  She informed me that her sister is 16 (and pregnant as a result of a rape), and the sister is looking to give the child up for adoption so that she can attend school.  I made the announcement during my Chicago lecture asking if anyone was interested in adopting or knew of anyone that was...sure enough, a gentleman came up to me at the break asking for the information as his friend was very interested in adopting a baby from Haiti!  This is how God works...people helping people.  I am sending our monthly donation to my new friend's mother in Haiti because this grandchild is expected to be born later this month.  Any little bit can help.  I will be comforted knowing that there will be food or assistance provided for this child as a result of our donation. 

The blog's primary purpose for those that follow is to teach the importance of "giving" to my children, while enhancing their palates all the while.  Although the recipes have not been a "daily-making" lately, the lessons have been in full-throttle for Sophia and Giovanni.  Every chance I get, I introduce them to the opportunity of "choosing" generosity and compassion.  For instance, we were cleaning out their dresser drawers the other day, and I asked them what we should do with the clothes that they have outgrown, and almost in unison, they blurted, "Give 'em to the Village of Hope, Mama!"  Thank you, sweet Lord above, for sending your angels to be my children.  I hope you are proud of their loving hearts! 

Here is a wonderful recipe that I made the other night to accompany grilled chicken and steamed veggies...

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 cups Arborio rice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 to 8 cups hot Chicken Stock
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  In a large frying pan melt 2 Tablespoons butter with olive oil over medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in thyme, rosemary, and parsley.  Add 1/2 cup wine and cook until wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.  Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

2.  Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Cook remaining 1/2 cup onion until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add remaining 1 cup wine and cook over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, 4-5 minutes.  Add rice, salt, and pepper and stir to coat evenly, allowing wine to be absorbed.  Add 2 cups chicken stock, reduce heat to medium, and stir until stock is absorbed, 5-6 minutes.  Continue to add as much stock as needed, 1 cup at a time, stirring, until rice is creamy and tender but still firm in center.  Process should take 15-18 minutes from time you add first stock.  Stir in reserved mushrooms.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Pass remaining Parmesan cheese on the side.

Enjoy!  This was given thumbs-up all around!

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