Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mushroom and Swiss Chard Risotto


Comfort food in August.  Sometimes you just need it.  It doesn't make any sense.  It's 90 degrees yet I yearned for something hearty that would warm my soul.  You would think my soul would be sweating like the rest of me, but it wasn't.

The grocery store that I shop at has a lot and I mean A LOT of 10 for $10 sales and thank goodness it does.  It helps this single girl save SO much money (which is the reason I haven't really been blogging much in the first place).  Food is expensive.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Everything is expensive.  If only  my hourly wage could reflect the price of a gallon of milk. Ha ha…  good one, Aim.  This week they had mushrooms for $1.  Baby Bella mushrooms for a dollar.  Wha????? (I left the T out on purpose, don't be alarmed.  It's for emphasis on what a phenomenal deal that was.)

To me, mushrooms in themselves are a quintessential comfort food.  I could put them in anything and they just make it a heartier dish.  When I toyed around with the idea of being a vegetarian they were definitely my "meat".  I think I've explained before how I may have been successful with that but, bacon--oh, and steaks.  I need my iron, people!

I would love to say this would be a great Meatless Monday meal but I used chicken broth.  Veggie broth would work just as well, but I do recommend making your own like this one.   Don't even get me started on some of those store bought broths.  Seriously.  Don't. Get. Me. Started.  Ok, I got started--kind of.  I'm just saying, most households have everything they need to make a delicious broth.  Make a pot and store it in the freezer in individual containers.  Voila, you always have broth!  Most importantly you know exactly what is in yours.  I'm not sure how much time y'all have to read labels at the store but you should do it.  Gross.  No words should have that many consonants together.  Ok.  <takes a deep breath and steps down off soapbox>

Back to this creamy, decadent, comforting and surprisingly easy risotto.  So many people are intimidated by risotto. I was the same way and to make myself feel better I would say it's super pretentious and I'm not so why should I try it?  It's not difficult, it just requires attention and a lot of stirring but in the end it is completely worth it.  Don't say you can't do it.  You can.  Trust me.  I'll walk you through it. And it will no longer be pretentious.

Mushroom and Swiss Chard Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup diced onion
16 ounce package mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon thyme
1/3 cup parmegianno cheese, shredded plus more for garnish
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil (enough to cover the bottom) in a large sauté pan over medium low heat.  Add the garlic, onion and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Add in the swiss chard and cook for another five minutes or until it has wilted down.  Place the arborio rice in the pan.  Stir and let toast for four to five minutes.

Start adding the broth 1 to 1 1/2 cups at a time, stirring very often.  Once the broth has absorbed into the rice, add more.  (this is where risotto becomes tedious.  Hang it there!) It will take around 20-30 minutes for the rice to completely cook and you might not use all of the broth.   Taste it to make sure the consistency is correct and to adjust the seasonings.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese

Serve as a main dish for four or a side dish for six and enjoy that warm belly feeling that is oh so comforting!

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