Dysfunctional Chef is Cookin’ Up a Storm: Try This Christmas Carrot Risotto and Lose It!
Greetings Tushkateers, Devotees of Our Lady of Weight Loss, Last week, we were invited to a dinner party at a friend’s house. Nice, yes? Always!!! Most of the time when I ask, “What shall I bring,” my dear, sweet friend smiles and says, “Nothing!!! Bring your happy self.” Or something like that…you get the idea. But that’s hard for me to do. I was “dragged up” better. (That’s what my mother used to say, “I dragged you kids up better than that!” She was a hoot. Miss you, Mom!)
Anyway, if someone says “nothing,” I’ll bring wine and/or flowers (speaking of which, there’s a good tip on bringing flowers to friends in my book, which you really oughtto read!
Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivation Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal, the best non-diet diet book ever.)
I digress in a million different directions. Not to worry. Give me a moment as I rope myself in and bring myself back to present day happenings. …(time lapse)…
This time when she heard that I had a new recipe that I wanted to try out, a Christmas Carrot Risotto, she said, “Okay!” Especially when I said that I was going to make my own carrot juice! Nothing but the healthiest and best for this group of friends.
Thing is, because I am slightly dysfunctional in the kitchen and because I’d never made risotto before, I didn’t realize that you MUST serve it fresh (reheating it isn’t the best idea), and it takes an hour of standing over the stove stirring to get it just right. So for those of you who did not know or have never attempted a risotto please note:
1. SERVE HOT, serve fresh, don’t reheat if at all humanly possible.
2. ONE HOUR of STANDING! Bring a chair or stool to sit on. Stir with one hand. Read a book with the other (ultimately that’s what I resorted to. One hour of standing and stirring is not my favorite form of cooking or exercise).
That said, the EFFORT WAS WORTH IT! Try it. Everyone will not just like it! They will love it and it is a beautiful orange color! Festive, for sure!
Here: Carrot Risotto
1 cup arborio rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups fresh carrot juice (3 cups for recipe/1 cup for you)
3 cups organize vegetable broth
Salt (to taste)
8 scallions, chopped into little pieces (about 3/4 of a cup)
3/4 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Juice a huge bunch of carrots, enough to make 4 cups, which is a quart! You only need 3 cups for the recipe, but it’s nice to have a glass to sip on while cooking! If you use a wine glass, you can pretend that you are sipping wine and feel like Julia Child! If you do NOT have a juicer, then buy a bottle of the best fresh carrot juice out there!
In a medium to large sized, heavy-bottom pan on medium heat, heat olive oil. When it is spitting ready, add rice and stir until rice is “toasted.” It takes about 10 minutes, more or less.
Now…lower the heat a little and add about 1/2 cup of carrot juice and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the rice. Stir. Stir and Stir. As liquid is absorbed, add more carrot juice and broth. 1/2 a cup at a time is cool.
Repeat as the liquid is absorbed and then…
…Stir…Stir…Stir…Stir…Stir again! Towards the end of this process, add salt and pepper to taste. Salt Tip: There are some gourmet salts out there. Fancy Salts! Sea Salts. Kosher Salts. Try something better than your usual salt. It makes a difference. And if you have a favorite salt to recommend, please do so!
After your wrist hurts from stirring and the last of the liquid is absorbed, stir in the scallions and the parsley. Add more salt and/or pepper if needed, and then…
…just before serving, top with Parmesan cheese.
They say that this makes six servings at approx. 200 calories each. I used this recipe for 12 people. There were other foods on the table for goodness sake. If this were the main course, okay then! Six servings, but as a side dish amongst other side dishes, for 12!
Spread the word–-NOT the icing!