It feels soooo good to be back in the groove.
Can I just say it again?
It feels soooooooooooooooooo good to be back in the groove! It’s like Steven Tyler is screaming in my life’s soundtrack,
“I’m baaaaaaaaaaack in the saddle again!”
Seven days after that sweet baby I was out pulling weeds in the garden (don’t tell my midwife:) and I felt SO alive! Perhaps you know how brutal those last few weeks of pregnancy are. OH! To bend over without a head in your crotch!
Yeah – I just said that!
I am especially enjoying being back in the kitchen again.
I can face the sink and the stove head on instead of that awkward, belly-turned-to-the-left thing you have to do when you’re the size of a WHALE. I did some major nesting that week before he came (I keep thinking how nuts it was to clean out a pig pen and then have a baby two days later). But in my nesting, I ordered some serious bulk food to get us thru the summer. Mad crazy grains to supplement our eggs and produce and so last night I made an old favourite…
Sweet Potato Risotto
Let me tell you. I had one happy family.
Risotto is just freaking awesome. You’re gonna love this. I think I posted this recipe years ago but I’ve had some fun with it since then so let’s get to cooking girlfriend!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 Cups of arborio rice (AKA: outrageously expensive rice, which is why I buy mine in bulk)
- 10 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of Parmesan/Romano blend cheese (from Trader Joe’s is my favourite)
- 8 tablespoons of butter, halved
- Four fresh sprigs of thyme
- Thyme essential oil (optional), 2-3 drops
- Walnut Oil, enough to cover the bottom of your pan
- 1 or 2 large shallots, minced
- 8 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped two inches thick
- Chopped, toasted walnuts to garnish
- Thyme sprigs to garnish
Risotto is super easy but grab whatever book you’re reading cause you shouldn’t really walk away from the stove top. So grab a stool and knock out a few chapters! (I adore an excuse to read. I carry a book from room to room and everywhere I go.)
Begin by mincing your shallots and heating the oil and half the butter in a large, shallow pot. (I have a copper one like this. I proudly hang it on my kitchen wall. LOVE.) Add the shallots once the oil is hot. Add the thyme leaves. (Remove the leaves from your thyme sprigs. This is easily done by pressing your thumb and index finger together around the spring and running down the stems) Anytime you can add your fresh herbs to the heated oil in a recipe it really helps to pull the flavour out of the herb. At this point, I added a couple drops of my doTERRA Thyme oil too. It gave this dish an extra amazing element but you can omit this if you want. Carefully add fresh ground pepper to this oil mixture.
In a separate saucepan gently heat your chicken stock. It needs to be (and stay) nice and hot during the course of this recipe.
In another large stock pot, fill with water, boil and add your chopped, peeled sweet potatoes. Remove from heat and drain when they are nice and soft.
Add the rice to the oil and shallot mixture and be sure the rice becomes coated with the oil, Add a little more oil if needed, Add the hot stock to your risotto mixture. A cup or two at a time. Using a flat (square) wooden spoon to keep the mixture moving. You don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan. It’s a pretty simple thing if you’ve never done it before… you keep adding stock, just a little at a time. Once it’s absorbed, you add a little more. Keep repeating until your rice is cooked!
Once your rice is cooked add the butter and cheese. Salt to taste.
Now – here’s where things get fun.
The flavour is so amazing at this point that you could serve it as is. I kept having to swat my hubby away from the stove at this stage in the recipe. Perhaps with some roasted walnuts and more thyme to garnish.
In a Cuisinart or blender purée the sweet potatoes. Gently fold them and the rest of the butter into your rice. Add more cheese, salt and pepper to taste. In a clean skillet, lightly toast a handful of walnuts to garnish. Serve this meal hot.
Here’s a leftover tip:
I always double this recipe. The next day for lunch I make “risotto cakes”. In my cast iron skillet, I heat more walnut oil, I shape the risotto into little patties (like a crab cake or hamburger) and deep fry them. I serve them with a side salad and my kiddos go nuts for their crispy edged goodness!
Starving now hun? Me too!
PS: I AM working on the birth story of our sweet Joel Junior (born 6/23) but whew! It’s a long-winded doozy!