One of my favorite things about working from home is that I can watch the Today Show. All 85 hours of it. Most usually I just have it on in the background while I’m working and I tune in and out of the segments. And yes, I do often keep it on in the 4th hour (or is it 40th?) with Kathie Lee and Hoda. So, sue me. I think they’re fun and how can you not love ladies that call Wednesday “Winesday” first thing in the morning? Also, their logo looks a lot like ours… I’m pretty sure they copied us. amiright??
I was paying special attention yesterday morning because they had a Top Chef Masters segment on and featured recipes you could make for under $20. Since it was 85+ degrees out in Boston, I was in an especially springy mood and fell in love with Jimmy Bradley’s risotto with spring pea sauce and button mushrooms.
As you probably know by now, I’m pretty risotto-obsessed. But I haven’t made risotto in months now, which is probably why I instantly wanted to make this one. Also, Chris doesn’t like peas and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to force them on him for a while now. I just do not understand how on Earth someone can’t like the harmless, cute little pea. In true “me” fashion, I decided that he just hadn’t tried them in too long and if I made them in a delicious dish, he’d enjoy them.
Risotto with Spring Pea Sauce and Button Mushrooms (serves 4):
- 3/4 C frozen peas
- 6 T butter
- 1 T shallot, minced
- 1/2 small white onion, finely diced
- 2 1/4 C chicken broth (or water if you’re going vegetarian)
- 1/4 lb. button mushrooms, cleaned
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 C risotto rice (arborio)
- 1/2 C dry white wine
- 1/2 C pecorino romano, grated
- 1 T sliced parsley
First boil a pot of salted water. Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Then drain them and cool under cold running water. Set them aside.
In a saute pan, melt one T butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and 2 T of diced onion and saute until softened.
Add 1/4 C chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Then add 1/2 C peas and let simmer for another minute.
Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth
The blender I used just didn’t want to puree like I wanted it to. Guess I should have used my trusty Cuisinart!
Strain through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, extracting as much puree as possible.
I got what I could through my strainer.
But I do wish I got more. That’s OK though, I added extra peas in at the end. Because I love them so much. And wanted to force more of them on Chris.
Season with salt and pepper and cover and chill for at least an hour.
Melt 2 T of butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, and cook until slightly softened (about 5 minutes). Add 2 T of the stock a 1 T of the butter. Stir well, remove from pan, and set aside.
I ended up stemming my mushrooms and chopping them in half.
Now, on to the risotto making! Put remaining 2 cups of chicken stock in a small pot and bring to a simmer.
Heat 2 T of butter and 2 T of olive oil in a separate large pot over medium heat. Add the remaining onions and saute until softened. Add the cup of rice and cook, stirring until coated with oil, for 2 minutes.
Add wine and stir the pot until the wine has reduced by 2/3.
Begin adding the simmering broth to the pot, 1/2 C at a time until it’s all been absorbed by the rice. Continuously stir the risotto and don’t let it stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep doing this until you’ve used all the broth.
You’ll know the risotto is done because it will be soft, but with a slight firmness in the center of the grain.
Add the mushrooms, reserved whole peas, pea sauce, parsley, and cheese. Stir together.
The result? A deliciously creamy, perfectly spring-like dish.
And my love for risotto lives on. Also? Chris was pretty terrified of the peas, but he ate them. He admitted the problem is mostly psychological and he just didn’t want to talk about the fact that he was eating them. I think a lot of picky eating is psychological. If you go into it with an open mind and try things a few times, you’ll be surprised by how many things you like. I honestly can’t think of anything I absolutely will not eat.
He later admitted he really liked the risotto. Yay!
There were some wonderful leftovers from this too, which I’m looking forward to eating for lunch. See? This is what you get when you watch Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Today Show. Worth it? I think so. Also, in honor of “Winesday,” we drank the rest of the wine with dinner.
If you love risotto (and peas! and mushrooms!), you’ll go crazy for this dish. I say this every time I write about risotto, but it is NOT hard to make! Somehow it got a bad name. Yes, you need to stir it a lot, but come on, that’s easy stuff. The hardest part about this particular risotto was making the pea sauce. If you don’t feel like doing that, just add peas instead!
Sadly, Boston’s own Ana Sortun didn’t make it any further on Top Chef Masters last night. But that’s OK, because we all know she’s an amazing chef and we’re lucky to have her here.
Oh, and check out the article our hometown newspaper wrote about We are not Martha that came out today. In case you don’t know our story, Chels and I grew up together in Andover, MA (friends since age 7!), and we were thrilled to be interviewed by the Andover Townsman!
Photo courtesy of Paul Bilodeau
That was a lot for one post! We’re off to Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation event tonight and cannot wait!
And don’t forget to enter our Garlic Zoom giveaway here… You have until tomorrow night to enter