Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower-Spinach Risotto

It's been a tough winter (emotionally, not meteorlogically), and I craved comfort food tonight. Nothing is more satisfying to me on a sad, cold night than a bowl of risotto. It's like savory hot cereal for dinner.

I had a cauliflower cooling its heels in the crisper, which I had planned to roast. Roasting brings out the sweetness in most vegetables, and cauliflower, which is abundant in January, will surprise you. Why not toss it into the risotto? I added a bunch of spinach for some color and green goodness, and tossed in a generous handful of cheese and some cream to balance that goodness with some evil. Delicious.

Roasted Cauliflower-Spinach Risotto

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 yellow onion, sliced thickly
1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cauliflower and onion on a large cookie sheet with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper. Roast in the oven, tossing occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter and saute the shallot until softened. Add the rice and saute until translucent. Add a cup of the stock, and stir over low heat until most of the stock is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a cup or so at a time. With the last addition, toss in the spinach and cook and stir until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the cauliflower and the onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. When most of the last bit of stock has been absorbed, toss in the cheese and stir to combine. Add just enough cream to loosen the risotto to desired consistency. Serve.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dishes Men Like

Cleaning out my father's kitchen yesterday, I found this cookbook. "Dishes Men Like: New and Old Favorites, Easy to Prepare...Sure to Please," looks to have been prepared by Lea & Perrins, because every one of the 168 recipes in the book features Worcestershire sauce.

The introduction sets the stage:

If you have husband who likes to cook, pamper him! You are lucky indeed, even though you find yourself only a fetch-and-carry handmaiden while his genius glows. But men are wise, not one in a thousand really wants to take over the job. They usually have a few specialties to produce on occasion and leave the rest of the cooking to us.

So, what to do? It goes without saying that most women choose dishes men like.

So, what do men like? According to this book, during the "Cocktail Hour," men like Sardine Stuffed Eggs and Mystery Cheese Ball Spread. For dinner, men like Jellied Chicken Loaf and Rink Tum Diddy Rabbit. Steaks on the barbecue are always good; What Men Like recommends 2-inch thick steaks, cooked 18 minutes on each side for medium, 20 for well done. (I'm thinking that, after 40 minutes on the grill, you can use your steak as fuel for your next barbecue.)

And if your man had a few too many cocktails last night, try the Pick-Me-Up:

Note for husbands! Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce if taken on "the morning after" will immediately set you right for a good day's work. Here are two suggestions:
  • Add 2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins to a raw egg, stir and swallow.
  • Add 2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins to an 8-ounce glass of tomato or sauerkraut juice and drink contents as quickly as possible.