My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Risotto with Edamame and Chicken

With all these restrictions on my diet a lot of the foods I crave are off-limits. Mainly potato-based products like french fries and potato chips, but I'm not a starch-ist: my mini pico de gallo pizzas are off limit, as are salsa and tortilla chips, spicy tuna rolls and pretty much anything that comes out of our freezer. So after a day of following the rules, I wasn't too optimistic about the first recipe I decided to try. Both James and I were too tired to cook Friday night, so instead we treated ourselves to McCormick and Schmick's and their delicious, heavenly crab bisque.

But, that's a review for another day. The risotto with edamame, lemon and tarragon was a recipe from Real Simple and not quite up our alley. I figured with some adjustments I could find a way to make it appeal to James' palate (add chicken) and even get him to enjoy eating vegetables! So I stopped by the store to pick up some edamame (I could not find any pre-shelled edamame), a lemon, an onion, tarragon and chicken broth. I forgot the arborio rice, but James picked up the perfect amount later on in the day. He had some trouble finding it; it was made by a company called Tilda, and it's made specifically for risotto. With that underway, we began our altered risotto for the night.

Risotto with added chicken broth
While James chopped up the onion (I am incapable of cutting onions without bawling--hence I covet the onion goggles) I worked on de-shelling the edamame. While the recipe recommends 1.5C of edamame, we only had about one cup, possibly less (but they're expensive!!). James sauteed the onions with butter in our lovely Calphalon saucepan. We then added the risotto (without liquid? yes!) and cooked that for two minutes while constantly stirring. We then added a cup of dry white wine; the recipe recommends sauvignon blanc, and we keep a bottle of Starborough's sauvignon blanc in our fridge, so we used that. It's inexpensive but it's still a good glass of wine after a long day. After all the wine was absorbed, we began to add the chicken broth. 4.5 C of chicken broth, added .75 C at a time, allowing each addition to absorb before moving on. It is amazing how much one cup of risotto can grow with the help of that much liquid. It took quite a long time for everything to absorb, but it was worth it in the end. It takes 6 additions of broth to add all the required broth.
Lemon zest, salt and pepper, tarragon

Everything added in!
Once all the broth is added and absorbed, you can stir in the edamame, 1 Tbsp of fresh chopped tarragon, 2 tsp lemon zest (I de-skinned an entire lemon, so I'd recommend getting two lemons) and the salt and pepper. All these recipes call for kosher salt; I don't know the difference, but we just use regular salt and it turns out fine.  You also stir in the .75 C of grated parmesan (it says to use the .25 C left to garnish). This is where we differed from the recipe. While it looked and smelled delicious already, we decided to add some chicken to our risotto. This is where the pre-cooked grilled chicken comes in. Those little packs of grilled chicken have been such life savers for us. We used the rest of the package left over from my soup and just pulled apart the chicken into bite size chunks, adding it into the mixture.

Mmmm, risotto
All that's left after that is to transfer it to bowls, pour a glass of wine and sit back and enjoy the Percy Jackson movie (see it before you read the books, otherwise it's a let down). James and I each had three spoonfuls of risotto and had smaller second servings, and there was even enough left over for a decent lunch today. It was delicious, and though it felt creamy, it was light, but still filling. There was a little bit too much edamame for my liking, but you can adjust that as you see fit. If you look up risotto, real simple will also suggest the same thing, but with peas and prosciutto. We might just have to try that sometime.

Tonight: Avgolemano or what you do with your unused, de-skinned lemons!

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