In contrast to our simplistic dinner last week, tonight BIV ventured into a series of complex recipes. We began simply enough with a nice loaf of cibatta bread purchased from the local bakery complemented with a wonderful French goat ch eese.
Yield: 10 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup risotto, about 1/4 cup pears, about 1 tablespoon cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons nuts, and about 1/2 teaspoon parsley))
- 1 cup pear nectar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup Chianti or other dry red wine
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Bring first 3 ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, thyme, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add rice; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of br
oth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in salt and pepper.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pears; sauté 4 minutes. Serve pears over risotto; sprinkle with cheese, nuts, and parsley.
Our dessert tonight was an almondy treat. SH had recently inherited a container of vanilla almond milk and SB was us to the challenge of finding a yummy use for the milk. She made triple threat almond cupcakes that no only used the almond milk, but also almond paste and sugar coated almonds. These cupcakes were both labor and ingredient intensive but the result was tender, nutty and very tasty. You can find the recipe on the blue diamond website.