Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mexican Risotto!!!

Oh yes.  Perhaps the best fusion of cuisines I've ever had.  I often wonder why I don't see this dish EVERYWHERE.  It is the perfect creamy risotto texture with the flavors of your favorite mexican dish.  We chose to stick with our favorite chili ingredients for this first trial run, but you could do a simple cheese and shrimp or do a take on huevos rancheros with eggs and tomatillos.  You could deconstruct any of your favorite Mexican dishes and add it into the risotto and I guarantee it will taste amazing.  We served this with a tequila lime marinated tilapia, but the risotto overshot the fish so far that the fish would have been better off mixed into the risotto.

2 cups creamy tomato soup
2 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsps taco seasoning (we use the Trader Joe's brand)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup arborio or carnaroli rice
1 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup tequila, ale or white wine
1 15 oz can of black beans
1 3-4 oz can of green chiles
1 cup corn kernels
6-8 oz aged, sharped cheddar, shredded or crumbled
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
chopped scallions for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cayenne Pepper and/or Hot Sauce to taste

Put the stock and tomato soup in a saucepan.  Bring to a low boil and then reduce the heat to keep it warm.  Heat the butter and oil in a pot and saute the onions for 1-2 minutes.  Add garlic and mix well.  Add the rice and stir with wooden spoon to coat all of the rice with fat.

Add taco seasoning and stir in. Saute the rice in the butter and seasoning for a few minutes and then add the tequila, ale or wine.  Stir until it is completely absorbed.  Add 1 ladle of liquid and stir until absorbed.  Continue to add the liquid in this manor until the liquied has been absorbed and the rice is al dente (~18-20 minutes).  Reserve the last ladle of stock.  Add the beans, chile, corn, cilantro, most of the cheese (save some for garnish) and the last ladle of stock.  Stir until all incorporated and cheese has melted.  Salt, Pepper and add hot sauce an/or cayenne to taste.  Remove from heat, serve with scallion garnish.

Scrambled Eggs with Fried Sage and Cornbread


2 Eggs
1 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp Butter
3-5 sage leaves
Salt and Pepper
A mild white cheese, like mozzarella, is optional
A slice of Buttermilk Cornbread*


Melt butter in a frying pan.  Put sage leaves in and flip them after ~5 seconds.  Cook for an additional 5 seconds and then remove and place on a towel to drain.  Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl.  Add salt and pepper (two or three shakes of each ought to do it).  Use the same butter to cook your scrambled eggs.  If you're going to add cheese, add it towards the end or on the plate.  Garnish the eggs with sage.  You may want to crumble or break the larger leaves so that they are more incorporated into the eggs.  Serve on top of a slice of cornbread.

*Simple Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients; add beaten egg and buttermilk, mixing well. Pour into greased, heated 8-inch or 9-inch iron skillet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Buttermilk cornbread serves 8.