Comfort Food

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Thankfully there were no students at school today. I don’t say that because I don’t love my kids, but April 1st, and Halloween, are horrible days to work in a school. But even without students all around, it was one of those days and I felt the need for comfort food. Or alcohol, but I went with comfort food.

Originally I wanted Mac & Cheese. I wanted the gooy, creamy mouthfeel of the pasta and melted cheese, but realized rather quickly that there is no pasta at home thanks to Bob’s no grain thing. Ok, low grain, but if I think that way we would be eating A LOT more grains. Also the nutritional value of Mac & Cheese is pretty low and if I’m going to break Bob’s diet I want to do it for something more than Mac & Cheese. So I compromised and went with risotto.

I have made this before, but today’s version came out super well. I started with one cup of hard cider. Rather than wine (only have red on hand) I went with the deep draft cider.

20130401-205702.jpg I actually think this made a huge difference. The heavier quality of the liquid, and the really deep flavor was wonderful. So one cup of this with a few bay leaves (thank you Val) over medium high heat to reduce. While that is reducing, I took a pat of butter and sautéed a half an onion and a half a shallot until they were soft. Add one cup arborio rice and cook until each kernel is coated and translucent. Add the hot cider to the pan and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a baking dish – little 8×11 is what I used – and add three cups veggie stock. Stir then cover with foil and pop into a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. Stir once part way through, but otherwise leave it alone. It comes out like this:

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Add some grated Parmesan, about a third of a cup and you have dinner. I usually add butternut squash to this but didn’t have any today. Bob said this was my best version yet. And I actually agree so I had to write down what I did before I forgot!

Oh, and we had a nice little dessert:

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20130401-210515.jpg The stupidly simple panna cotta with blueberries, peaches and kiwi. Oh so good. Not bad for a Monday night.

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