January 28

Cheesy Vegetable Risotto

The first time I had risotto, my best friend and I were in a small Spain town in the south called Ronda. We had been living off of local fare for about two weeks at this point, which included tapas, chicken, gazpacho, fish, gelato, sangria, and a myriad of fruits, whenever we could get our hands on it. We had decided, since we always dined fairly casual, we would try something a little more high-class (but not out-the-ass expensive) while we were in Ronda. The Parador de Ronda was one of the swankier joints in town, and after an entire day of hiking around Gibraltar and dodging cheeky monkeys Barbary Macaques, the hotel/restaurant was calling our name.

I had a mushroom pasta for dinner; my best friend had creamy mushroom risotto. While at the time I was not in love with mushrooms, there was a certain something about eating them abroad, in something as delicate, albeit filling, as risotto, that made me enjoy it. As with every new and exotic dish we tried while abroad, we would share tastes of our meals and usually, I was the one secretly wishing I had gotten what she ordered. Her mushroom risotto was delicious.

It isn’t until just recently that I stumbled upon a risotto recipe that I knew could be enjoyed in our household. Since The Fellow™ wouldn’t touch mushrooms with a twenty foot pole, I needed another filling, tasty addition that would compliment chicken broth + risotto nicely. I’ve made this several times since the first time I discovered the recipe on Betty Crocker’s website and it’s always so easy and so delicious.

Cheesy Vegetable Risotto

Source:  Betty Crocker []

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
32 ounces Progresso reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower & cheese sauce
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Directions

1) In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high until butter is melted. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender.

2) Stir in rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of kernels are translucent. Stir in 1/2 cup of the broth. Cook until broth is absorbed. Stir constantly.

3) Reduce heat to medium. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the broth; cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Stir in another 1 cup of the broth; cook uncovered about 5 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed.

4) Stir in remaining 1 cup broth. Stir frequently, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy.

5) Meanwhile, cook frozen vegetables as directed on bag. Stir vegetables, Parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper into rice mixture.

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