Category Archives: risotto

Veal Chops with Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto

Ever since the first time I made risotto, I’ve wanted to make it with sun-dried tomatoes.

There’s a lot of fear surrounding homemade risotto –this stigma that if you stop stirring you’ll be banished to kitchen hell. The truth is…that isn’t the truth. Yes, you need strong arms and patience. But it’s really only 20 minutes of your time, so what’s the big deal, right? The end result is so creamy and rich that you’ll think it was worth it.

So I did it: sun-dried tomato risotto. Once you’ve made a basic risotto, any flavors can be added to it to make it even more spectacular and unique. I needed a meat to go with this dish and veal loin chops were on sale (cheaper than a ribeye). Veal loin chops are the equivalent to a T-bone steak, but it’s juicier and more tender. Jon remarked that it was sinful for a baby cow to taste so good…and I couldn’t agree more. Sorry, baby cow. 😦

Before you judge me any further for my use of butter, let me explain. You know that unbelievable steak you had last week? Know why it tastes so great? Butter. That incredibly silky smooth sauce served over your pasta? Butter. Those chocolate chip cookies you can’t get enough of? Butter. There you have it – butter is better. Use less if you want, but I can’t promise it’ll be the same.

Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto 

1 quart chicken broth

1 stick butter, divided in half

1/2 medium sized onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

garnish: fresh basil

1. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and set aside. Cover to keep warm.

2. Melt 1/2 stick butter in a medium size sauce pan. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender. (*note – the only thing that smells better than onions and garlic cooking in olive oil is onions and garlic cooking in butter)

3. Add sun-dried tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes.

4. Add arborio rice and coat with the juices formed from the onions, garlic, and butter.

5. Add the white wine and stir until all liquid is absorbed.

6. Add chicken stock half a cup at at time, stirring between each addition so that liquid is full absorbed.

7. When all chicken stock has been added, mix in the parmesan cheese along with the other half of the stick of butter, cut into cubes. Garnish with basil and serve.

Veal Loin Chops with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

2 veal loin chops

flour, salt, and pepper for dredging

1/2 stick butter

2 tablespoons milk

4 fresh sage leaves

1. Dredge veal in flour, salt, and pepper.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add sage leaves and veal, cooking for about 4 minutes on each side.

3. Remove veal from the pan and add milk to thicken the sauce. Return veal to pan and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

>Blackened Swordfish and Lemon Saffron Risotto

>Swordfish was on sale at Sunflower Market so we bought some and froze it. Swordfish comes in fairly thick sliced steaks, kind of like a tuna steak. I ate a TON of it when I studied abroad in Spain, so I’m fairly familiar with it.
Jon really wanted to blacken it so I let him be in charge of that.

Blackening is a technique commonly used for fish. It’s ubiquitous in the South; you’ll see blackened catfish on many a Louisiana restaurant menu. First you coat the fish in butter and then you dredge it in a spice rub. I think Jon just used a Cajun seasoning we had, a long with some cayenne pepper and black pepper. You need to get your pan smoking hot (we cooked the fish in butter, too), and when the butter browns, the spices will brown with it creating a black crust on the fish – hence the name blackening.

We wanted to make a risotto but I wasn’t sure what kind. Apparently I’ve gotten more comfortable with the risotto after making it last time. I thought lemon would go well with the fish, so I googled lemon risotto and actually found some recipes – fairly easy across the board, just a simple risotto recipe with lemon added at the end. I also added saffron to give it the yellow color. This is the recipe I came up with:

Lemon Saffron Risotto        
1 qt chicken stock
1 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick)
juice of 3 lemons
1 pinch saffron threads

1. Empty the container of chicken stock into a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and keep covered.
2. While stock is boiling, melt butter and add to it the chopped onions and garlic. Cook until tender.
3. Add the rice, coating with the butter.
4. Add the white wine to deglaze the pain, stir for about 10 minutes until wine is absorbed.
5. Begin to add the chicken stock, half a cup at time, stirring between every addition until absorbed. On the last addition of the stock, add the saffron. The spice will need a bit of extra liquid to absorb.
6. Add the lemon juice to the risotto and mix well. Serve immediately.

*A little note about saffron: the flavor of it is very nondescript. There’s not much else that it does taste like, but I think it’s a bit bitter. In this recipe, I just used it for the color, and the lemon definitely outweighs the bitterness of the spice. Also, it’s incredibly expensive. So if you can’t find it, then it can be omitted from this recipe.