All posts tagged: wine

Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Thyme, Saffron, and Parmesan

Risotto is one of the ultimate comfort foods.  When made right, it’s creamy and belly-warming.  I tend to like my risotto packed with a lot of vegetables–mushrooms being the classic companion.  Here is my take using shiitakes only, but 2 ways: fresh and dried. I soak the dried shiitakes in HOT water for about 45-60 minutes before adding. Start by sauteeing a chopped medium size onion in butter and olive oil until transcluscent.  Add in the sliced mushrooms until cooked down by about half.  Make sure you add salt & white pepper as you cook the risotto–you want those flavors to penetrate the mix as you go.  Once cooked down, add the rice.  Stir well. Once the rice and ‘shrooms saute for a few minutes, add the thyme and saffron threads.  Start adding the chicken stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring constantly.  After the first 1/2 cup of chicken stock, add the strained mushroom liquid and wine.  Keep adding chicken stock until the rice is tender and the consistency is creamy.   Add 1/2 cup grated …

Grandma Gerome’s Meatballs

Meatballs come in all shapes and sizes.  Some go in a sub, some over spaghetti, some in a slider bun, some on the end of a toothpick.  No matter how they appear, they’re always delicious and fun to eat.  I’m very fortunate to be marrying into Nick’s Italian family.  One of the big perks of his family is access to his grandmother’s recipes!  And no one does meatballs better than an Italian grandmother.  On a recent trip to Cleveland to visit with the new family, Nick’s brother Peter made his grandmother’s meatballs for me.  This recipe serves as a reminder that the best food is always made with love. First you start by slicing the crusts off the bread (great scraps for making homemade croutons) and chopping fresh parsley. Then the fun part: soaking the bread in wine.  I recommend that you soak the bread with red wine (any kind will do) as it adds an amazingly rich flavor.  If pink-soaked-bread freaks you out, you could substitute beef stock or even water.  Make sure you …