Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Family Favorites for IHCC: Cheddar Cheese Risotto and Marshmallow Crispy Squares

This week's pick for I Heart Cooking Clubs is family favorites by Nigella Lawson. I spent a lot of time trying to decide what to make. The truth is, my family rarely eats the same thing for dinner. My son, Jackson, is allergic to so many things: wheat; eggs; soy; all nuts, beans and legumes; beef; turkey; red dye and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. He does LOVE cheese, lots of it! He also eats a lot of rice, potatoes, milk and chicken. I was ecstatic to find two Nigella recipes that Jackson could eat. I knew these two choices would make everyone happy! After all, who wouldn't like cheddar cheese risotto and Nigella's version of Rice Crispy Treats?

Cheddar Cheese Risotto - Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter/side dish
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 baby leeks or 2 fat scallions, finely sliced
1-1/2 cups risotto rice
1/2 cup white win
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 cups hot vegetable stock
1 cup chopped Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Melt the butter and oil in a medium-sized pan and cook the sliced baby leeks or scallions until softened. Add the risotto rice and keep stirring for a minute or so, then turn up the heat and add the wine and mustard, stirring until the wine is absorbed. Start ladling in the hot stock, letting each ladleful become absorbed as you stir before adding the next one. Stir and ladle until the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes, then add the cheese, stirring it into the rice until it melts. Take the pan straight off the heat, still stirring as you do, and then spoon into warmed dishes, sprinkling with some of the chopped chives.

Marshmallow Crispy Squares - Nigella Express, Nigella Lawson
Makes 24 squares
3 tablespoons butter
6 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal
edible glitter or sprinkles, optional

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and cook gently until they are completely melted and blended, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and immediately add the cereal, mixing lightly until well coated. Press the mixture into a greased 13 x 9-inch pan; you may have to put on latex gloves and press it down into the corners, as it will be very sticky. Flatten the top and then sprinkle over the edible glitter or sprinkles if so inclined. Let the marshmallow crispy squares cool completely in the pan and then cut them into 24 squares.

Notes/Results: The family and I enjoyed both recipes tremendously. I imagine that Nigella uses a wonderful English Cheddar in her version of Cheddar Cheese Risotto. However, even with my Kraft Cheddar, this risotto was heaven! We have had many versions of risotto, never with cheddar cheese. I loved the combination of the cheddar cheese and the chives. I will be making this risotto again, especially since I almost always have the ingredients on hand.. A great family dish. Nigella's marsmallow crispy treats taste just like other rice crispy treats, delicious! Her version calls for edible glitter or sprinkles. I topped mine with some orange sugar and sprinkles, in favor of the upcoming Halloween season. Can you believe that I've never made rice crispy treats myself? Well, they were super duper easy and delicious! Both my daughter and son gobbled them up and they will be gone in no time. My son was so excited to have a rice crispy treat! He kept telling me "I can eat it. It's for me." Here is a picture of Jackson, with his mouthful, eating his marshmallow crispy treats.
Head on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs throughout the week to see what everyone else has made. There are bound to be some great recipes for your family too!

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