Sarah's Gastronomic Adventures #2: Falling into Autumn

Friday, September 17, 2010
I am blessed to have some really FABULOUS friends in my life.  Friends that will be there for me in a drop of a hat. Friends who can make me laugh and smile. Friends who know how to give it to me straight and tell me the truth (even if it hurts).

Over the past year or so, I have become really close to an amazing group of women.  I felt so blessed when one of my best friends brought me into her group of friends.  These ladies have introduced me to a side of myself that I didn't know existed, and for that (among other things) I'm thankful. 

One thing I love about my girls is that we can have just as much fun staying in having dinner as we do hitting the bars around town.  We try to get together for a pot-luck dinner party at least every other month.  There is always a theme for the meal, and we always end up with such a feast!

Last night we had an amazing Fall-Themed Extravaganza! Homemade GBC (Green Bean Casserole).  Quinoa (a high protein grain) with sweat potatoes, edamame, and other veggies. A roasted Pork Loin.  WINE!!!  I made a homemade risotto as my contribution to the dinner.

Risottos can seem intimidating to make, but really they're SUPER easy. Here's my version:

Wild Mushroom and Herb Risotto
The trick with risotto's are to use short-grain rice
(it's starchier and will make a creamier end result),
have plenty of stock/liquid on hand (I always have a little more than what the recipe calls for at the ready), never walk away from it (this is a dish that needs to be watched the whole time), and never stop stirring!!!

Dried porcini mushroom reconstituting in hot water

Onion and Olive Oil cooking for 5 min.
Garlic and Mushrooms are added to the pot and cooked down for 4 min. 
Time to add the rice!
Porcini mushroom (with its liquid) and wine are added
The vino I used....YUMMY
Vegetable Stock is added to the pot a 1/4 cup at a time
Herbs: Sage (on the left) and Oregano (on the right)
After cooking for about 25 min. (all stock is absorbed and rice is tender), the herbs and cheese is added
The finished product!  De-LISH!
 Again, this recipe was taken out of a Weight Watchers cookbook. 
 You would never know the difference,
 and you feel like you're indulging when you eat this!
NOTE: The recipe calls for using a beef stock.  I used a veggie stock instead.  I'm currently not eating any meat except for fish
 (I will write about this in a future blog)
and wanted to make this a truly vegetarian dish.
Cooking Confession: When shopping for ingredients I thought that I had short-grain rice at home.  Turns out I only had a long-grain. I didn't feel like going back to the store, so I made the dish with what I had.  Obviously the recipe turned out just fine, but it would have been "creamier" with the other rice.


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