columbus day risotto

We had a little fun with dinner the other night after a day of sunshine and puffy clouds outside. We noticed the sedum is starting to go to seed which means the end of the season is on its way. There are still little surprises to be found though. Like the rose bush that burst forth with two new ruby-red blooms.

We have been following a meatless Monday schedule which usually means a pasta dish for dinner. Any excuse to eat more pasta works for my guys. Last week we had a roast chicken so there were leftovers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The vegetable bin had some vegetables that needed to get used so we made chicken stock. Try using the green carrot tops in your stock.

Homemade chicken stock is the perfect way to use leftovers and it is so easy to make. We make batches of it for the cold weather season and store in the freezer.

The first person to get a cold can benefit from the homemade stock being ready to go from the freezer to the stove and soothe cold symptoms with some noodles for a fast chicken soup.

Our dinner was a risotto made three different ways. The aborio rice is vacuum packed for freshness. The guys think it’s funny to watch the solid block immediately deflate and change shape when pierced with a knife.

The homemade chicken stock can add flavor to the risotto. To be truly meatless we should be using a pure vegetable stock. The chicken stock has a richer flavor. We do what we can.

It’s always something magical to watch kitchen scraps and water turn into a deeply flavored chicken stock.

This stock is perfect for a risotto since the aborio rice slowly absorbs the stock and takes on the flavor. The better the stock – the better the risotto. It starts out with a base of onions and garlic. Then, for the next 30 minutes the stock gets added a ladle at a time to allow the rice to soften.

At the end of cooking time a generous amount of Parmesan cheese is added. For our Columbus Day risotto it was a nod to the flag of Italy. The risotto was split three ways. One pot got a shot of tomato paste from a tube. The other a basil pesto. The third remained as prepared.

The three different versions of risotto were spread in three rows on the plate. We had our Columbus Day risotto as we shared fun facts like Columbus was never actually looking to discover anything when he originally set sail. Sometimes, that’s when you make the best discoveries.

Be sure and head over to Parade Food for this week’s pumpkin flan dessert ideas. http://www.parade.com/212328/aliceknisleymatthias-2/enjoy-the-seasons-flavors-with-pumpkin-flan/

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