Friday, January 28, 2011

Cheesy Risotto and Lemon Pomegranate Scones

As the week progressed and my refrigerator became barer, it became increasingly difficult to put together dishes for lunch and dinner. However, yesterday I was successful at creating an excellent lunch of mixed greens with cheesy risotto. The cheesy risotto was prepared by first sauteing onions and garlic in a little olive oil and butter. While the onions and garlic were cooking, I added a cup of Italian style rice to the rice cooker. (Yes, you can make a risotto style dish in the rice cooker. The rice cooker is a lifesaver when you have a needy toddler attached to your hip and don't want to risk burning the two of you by stirring rice continuously over a hot stove for an hour.) I then added 3 cups of homemade chicken broth that I keep in the freezer and defrost when needed. Lastly, I stirred in the caramelized onions and garlic along with a cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. After the rice cooker gave its signature "beep, beep, beep" (i.e. "I'm done!") signal, I plated the risotto, grated a little more cheese on top, and served it with a side of mixed greens drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Later that afternoon while my son was napping, I managed to test out a variation of my scone recipe. This time I added lemon zest and pomegranates to the batter. The taste was amazing (almost all 5 scones were devoured by the time we went to bed), but I'm still working on the texture. Although I used less heavy cream this time, the scones still did not crumble like I had hoped, so next time I will try baking them at a lower temperature. Here is the recipe I have been playing around with for those of you that are interested (they are still better than any scone you can buy). I cut this recipe in half and it still makes 5 small scones.

3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. heavy cream (less if using fruit with high water content)
2 c. fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.

I have been baking them at 350*F for about 30 minutes, but may try reducing the heat and cooking longer to see how that might affect the texture.

Isn't it amazing how so few ingredients can taste so good!!!

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