Popeye Risotto {Marx Foods Blogger Challenge)

Its-Easy-Being-Green

PopeyeRisotto-4648

Voting is now open! Click HERE to vote

Voting begins today, Tuesday February 12 and ends at 11:30pm PST on Thursday February 14th. Two winners will be chosen, one by popular vote and one from internal votes. Winners will be awarded $100.00 credit to Marx Foods each! And I could really really use some vanilla beansūüėČ Thanks!

A few weeks ago I signed up to take part in another Marx Foods Challenge. This one was called “Its Easy Being Green” and for those who know me really well I’m a bit obsessed with green. Some have been known to call me Kermit. In addition to my love of all things green (which includes my favorite animal, turtles) I love my green veggies: broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, green beans…well almost all – I truly despise peas, except for in my homemade fried rice.¬† I received samples of bamboo rice, dill pollen, green eston lentils, whole cardamom and mint herb crystals from Marx Foods and was asked to create a dish using at least two of the above ingredients.

Life has been a bit hectic the past few weeks with school, my first chef’s table, and of course blizzard Nemo where go figure we lost power! We seem to lose power on Aquidneck Island when the wind blows but the past few days have been miserable, with loosing food (again), and no heat (we have electric everything), so my original recipe idea for this was scratched and today I made a very green inspired risotto using the bamboo rice, cardamom, and some spinach.

You may have noticed on Creative Cooking Gluten Free that I also love risotto because it’s a blank canvas and you can do so much with it. This one is packed with flavor and color! This is also a great way to get that extra serving of vegetables (especially the leafy greens) that you may be lacking in your diet. Highlighted below are the two ingredients I choose – you could even add a little of the dill pollen to this as well.

PopeyeRisotto-4649

Popeye Risotto

Spinach Stock

  • Olive oil¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 teaspoon
  • Garlic¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 tablespoons
  • Baby Spinach¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 9 oz (1 Bag)
  • Grey Salt¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1/8 teaspoon
  • White Wine¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 Whole – crushed and seeds removed
  • Vegetable Stock¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 1/2 cups

Risotto

  • Olive Oil¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† 1 tablespoon
  • Butter¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 1 tablespoon
  • Bamboo Rice¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 1 cup
  • Ground Ginger¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 1/8 teaspoon
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬† ¬†¬† 1/4 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1.  Gather all ingredients and equipment.

  2.  Peel garlic and rough chop it, set aside.

  3.  In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium heat.

  4.  Add chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute.

  5. Add cardamom seeds and baby spinach.

  6. Cook over medium heat until spinach has wilted.

  7. Add white wine and cook for an additional minute.

  8. Season with salt and pepper

  9. In the pitcher of a blender add 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock and spinach mixture.

  10. Blend on high-speed until well blended.

  11. Add spinach stock to a medium sauce pan and keep warm over low heat.

  12. In the same skillet as before add remaining olive oil and butter over medium heat.

  13. Once the butter has melted add the bamboo rice and stir until well coated.

  14. Sprinkle ground ginger and stir well.

  15. Stir in 1 cup of spinach stock – just enough to cover the rice.

  16. Stir well and continue to stir until the rice has almost completely absorbed the stock.

  17. Continue this until all stock has been added to rice and absorbed. This should take about 20-30 minutes.

  18. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

  19. To serve top with grated lemon zest and pine nuts (optional)

Chef Notes:You can use arborio rice instead of the bamboo rice, it will have the same texture and consistency. I have made a similar recipe with the arborio rice and it is very delicious and flavorful.

It is easy being green…and delicious too!

Sweet Potato and Pine Nut Risotto

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Below is a recipe that I created a few weeks ago while in my vegetarian cuisine lab at school. Each week we are all assigned a component of the meal and we need to create a recipe based on that and what our lecture and demo are on that day. Right before break our lecture and demo were on fruits and nuts and I was assigned the entrée portion of the meal. One thing I really love about this class is that we have the freedom to create recipes each week instead of being handed a recipe and asked to make it, or our twist on it. It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to make that I could incorporate fruits and nuts in it.

I decided to start with my favorite “blank canvas”…a risotto! The idea just grew from there. I looked around the kitchen saw some golden raisins, pine nuts (one of my favorite nuts), baby spinach, and sweet potatoes (another favorite of mine!). I didn’t want the risotto to turn out sweet (because of the raisins), so I added a bit of cinnamon and grated Gruyere cheese instead of the traditional Parmesan cheese.

My chef and class really enjoyed the flavor combination and I can’t wait to make this again. Hope you all enjoy it.

Sweet Potato and Pine Nut Risotto

A hearty risotto with sweet potatoes, pine nuts, golden raisins, and spinach, a savory dish with a hint of sweetness.

Yield: 3 cups¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Serving Size:¬† ¬Ĺ cup¬†¬†¬†¬† Number of Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • Vegetable Stock¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬† 4 cups
  • Sweet Potato, brunoise¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 4 ounces
  • Shallot, fine brunoise¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, fine brunoise ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 2 teaspoons
  • Olive Oil, divided¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 4 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, ground¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬† 1/8 teaspoon
  • Ginger, grated¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ teaspoon
  • Arborio Rice¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 cup
  • Pine Nuts, toasted¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ cup
  • Golden Raisins¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ cup
  • Spinach, fresh¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬Ĺ cup
  • Wine, white¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ cup
  • Pepper, white¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1/8 teaspoon
  • Gruyere cheese, grated¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ – ¬Ĺ cup
  • Parsley, chopped¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1 tablespoon

Method of Preparation

  • Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  • Heat vegetable stock in a medium pot to a simmer, then lower heat to keep warm.
  • Wash and peel the sweet potato, then wash again.
  • Brunoise the sweet potato and set aside.
  • Peel the shallot and garlic. Cut brunoise and set aside.
  • In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add brunoise sweet potatoes and cook until lightly browned.
  • Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with cinnamon and toss to coat. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  • In the same skillet add the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and cook for two minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add rice and stir to evenly coat with oil. Cook for one minute, until there is a slight nutty aroma, you do not want the rice to brown.
  • Add 1 cup of stock to rice and stir constantly until almost absorbed.
  • When the stock is almost absorbed, add an additional cup of stock. Repeat until the grains of rice are tender with a slight bite to them. About 20 minutes.
  • Add pine nuts, raisins, spinach, sweet potatoes, and wine. Stir until evenly incorporated and spinach has wilted.
  • Season with pepper and stir to incorporate evenly.
  • Remove from heat and add in cheese. Stir well.
  • Add parsley, and stir to incorporate.
  • Serve immediately.

Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak

Martha Stewart’s Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak

My Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak (minus the red pepper sauce)

I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while, but wasn’t sure how Bryan would feel about it because it has a cheese that he isn’t very familiar with and it also has capers. ¬†I offered to leave out the capers but he said he would try them. ¬†I should have ¬†listened to my¬†instincts¬†and left them out. ¬†He tried one but he just wasn’t a fan, they were too salty for him. ¬†I’m not one for very salty foods but I love these green little gems,¬†probably¬†because I love chicken piccata so much. As it turns out, Bryan really liked this recipe and said this is one we should make again.

The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine and it is also in her Everyday Food Cookbook “Fresh Flavor Fast” Another great recipe from here that is also naturally gluten-free! ¬†You would be amazed how many of these recipes are naturally gluten-free or can very easily be adapted to gluten-free.

Seeing as this is a stuffed steak, it needed to be butterflied first, then stuffed with the spinach mixture and rolled up. ¬†I always hear about people going to the grocery store and having the butcher cut their meat a certain way such as butterflied so I thought, why not give it a shot and have them do it. ¬†I was so wrong, no pun intended here but he butchered my flank steak. ¬†I was so upset when I got home and opened it up. ¬†I should have taken a picture to show you all how bad it was. ¬†It was completely uneven with some pieces being extremely thing and others looking like they hadn’t been cut. ¬†I made the best of it for this because I didn’t want to waste the meat but not to self, next time do it myself! ¬†However if you have a good butcher I’m sure he would do fine but this guy was complaining the whole time he was cutting this piece. ¬†I am very much looking forward to my meat cutting class at school!

Here is how to butterfly the flank steak according to the recipe:

Butterflying the Steak: Lay the meat on a cutting board, with the grain of the steak running horizontally. Using a long sharp knife, cut the meat almost in half horizontally, opening it like a book but stopping before going all the way through.

With the steak being cut so uneven I had to adjust the cooking time a bit and¬†despite having to put it in a few times because the middle just wasn’t cooked to our liking (it was pretty much raw – but again I blame that on the butcher and not the actual recipe its self.) it was a very tasty, easy and fairly quick dinner. ¬†We served ours with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Too add a little something extra to it I made a Red Pepper Sauce to go on the side to either drizzle on top of the steak or just to dip it in.   I used a container of Wild Veggie Red Pepper Soup as the base, added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon fine ground pepper.  To thicken it up just a bit I added a small amount of cornstarch/water mixture.

Have you heard about Wild Veggie yet?  If not you should check out their website and products.  Here is a little blurb about them from their website:

What is Wild Veggie? Is it a soup? Is it a drink? Is it an ingredient? If you think it’s all of the above, then you’re right! Wild Veggie is good in everything… and is good for everybody. Compared to similar products on the market, Wild Veggie is low in sodium and calories, and typically has more vitamins and nutrients, not only meeting but exceeding daily recommendations in many cases.

We start with the absolute freshest vegetables we can find, always picked at their peak of ripeness and flavor. We then wash, micro-cut, and fast cook at a low temperature, and then quickly freeze to preserve as much of the natural vegetable flavor as possible. There are no preservatives. No fake chemicals. Just the wonderful taste of pure, fresh vegetables.

Our unique process preserves the natural integrity, flavor or nutrients of the vegetables ‚ÄĒ we do not compromise on flavor or freshness, meaning that Wild Veggie is good for every body.

Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak (Martha Stewart – Everyday Food Magazine)

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen leaf spinach, thawed

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 small flank steak (1 pound)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

    1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, parsley, cheese, capers, vinegar, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cut and open steak.
    3. Cut several 12-inch pieces of kitchen twine; space evenly underneath steak. Spread spinach mixture down center of meat (see opposite). Roll steak over mixture, pressing firmly to compact the filling as much as possible; tie twine to secure roll. Cut roll in half crosswise. Place halves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet; rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
    4. Broil until browned, 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare; let rest, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes. Remove string, and slice steak into 1/2-inch rounds.

     

    Frittata

    DSCN2296

    Today I made my first frittata. I looked in my Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking cook book to get the basic idea of how to make a frittata and just ran with it. I looked to see what I had, pancetta, fresh spinach, baby potatoes, onion, garlic and rosemary and just used all of it. I have to say it came out pretty darn good.

    I like many other cooks don’t always measure. I learned that from my grandmother. It was always a pinch of this, a dash of that. Many times I find it hard to actually follow a recipe, I tend to read them, get the basic idea and adapt them. So if these amounts are not accurate, I’m sorry.

    Frittata

    1 package of diced pancetta

    1 small onion diced

    1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach leaves chopped

    4 small potatoes – cubed

    1/4 cup olive oil

    6 eggs

    two cloves of garlic minced

    2 sprigs of rosemary chopped

    1/2 cup heavy cream

    1 tsp pepper

    1/2 cup parmsean cheese

    Turn oven to 350 degrees

    In a small skillet sautee the pancetta until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels. In the same pan sautee the onions until lightly browned (3-5 minutes). In a 10 inch sautee pan add the oil and cubed potatoes. Cook until softened and browned, about 8-10 minutes. Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the onions and pancetta to them, keep on low heat. Sautee the spinach and garlic in the pan you used for the onions and pancetta. Add to the potatoes

    While the potatoes cook beat the eggs, rosemary and cream in a medium bowl. After the spinach and garlic has been added to the potatoes, add in the beaten egg mixture. Cook over low heat until eggs have set and the top is still loose.

    Sprinkle with cheese and put in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until set and lightly browned on top. Take out of oven, cool for a few minutes. Loosen the frittata by running a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan. Transfer to a plate and slice like you would a pie to serve.

    DSCN2286DSCN2288DSCN2290DSCN2293DSCN2299

    Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken

    gf14761

    Prosciutto – Wrapped Chicken

    1 boneless skinless chicken breast halved length wise

    2 pieces of Prosciutto (thinly sliced)

    1 teaspoon olive oil

    Season chicken breast with pepper (no need to season with salt when using the prosciutto). Wrap each piece of chicken with one piece of prosciutto. Place the seam side down on a baking sheet. Lightly rub the top of each chicken breast with oil.

    Bake at 350@ for 10-15 minutes until almost cooked. Switch oven to broil and broil for 5 minutes (or until cooked fully)

    Serve with sauteed spinach and zucchini.