WOW. It has been two weeks too long since my last posting. However, the length of time in between postings only seems appropriate given the fact that I started internship 2.5 weeks ago. Being a School Psych Intern has already brought with it a multiplicity of emotions ranging from joy, elation, humility, solemnity, silliness, and sadness. Regardless of which emotions await me in the tiled corridors of the truly amazing school I am interning at, I anticipate the start of each day with an immense appreciation for this incredible opportunity to grow as a person and professional. I don’t want to get too off topic as the title of this blog isn’t Confessions of a School Psychologist, but it is a major part of my life so I figured it was worth knowing. Alright, back to the wonderful world of food…
All this hustle and bustle of internship hasn’t left me much time to get creative with my weeknight meals, so I’ve been reserving all of my innovative cooking skills for the weekends. Labor Day was no exception to this rule, so I spent the bulk of my morning finding the perfect recipes. My short but diverse grocery list led me back to my fave, WhoFoNo, for a crowded but wonderful shopping experience. I recently invested in a car so "grocery shopping" has miraculously moved itself from my "to do" list to my "looking forward to doing" list. I have a strange love for grocery shopping -- perhaps it's because I typically go on an empty stomach and run around the aisles in gleeful search of my next meal. On this particular occasion, my gleeful search directed me to all aisles of WhoFoNo to gather the ingredients necessary to make a marinated heirloom tomato caprese salad and a leek, shiitake, and truffle oil risotto.
The recipe for the caprese salad is inherently simple with no need for explanation outside of the recipe below; however, the risotto recipe poses a bit more of a culinary challenge due to its time-intensive nature. Yes, risotto done right is time-consuming to make, but it is well worth it. Each of the 1,356,467 figure-eight shaped stirring motions you’ll make across your Arborio-laden pan is worth the effort, each gentle ladling of broth is worth the potential messy splash, and each decadent drop of white truffle oil is worth the 1,499 pennies you’ll have spent on its purchase. Somewhere in the middle of my own stirring, splashing, and truffle-oil-drizzling I realized that the outcome of a risotto dish is in direct proportion to the amount of effort expended while making it and that each seemingly simple stir allows the risotto to give back a little of the love that is put into it. Love in the pan = love on the plate. So, my Foodie friends, summon your stirring strength and endurance, warm your veggie broth, and prepare your finest Arborio rice; it’s time to make risotto.
Leek, Mushroom, and White Truffle Oil Risotto (Serves 4 Main Course Portions)
Adapted from Bon Appétit
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), halved, thinly sliced crosswise
⅔ cup whole milk
½ lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
½ lb portobello mushroom caps, stemmed, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced lengthwise
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon white truffle oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
5 cups hot vegetable broth
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon white truffle oil for drizzling
Brings leeks and milk to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are tender and cream is thick, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Note: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat before continuing.
Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Toss all ingredients for mushrooms on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until mushrooms are tender and light brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Note: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Heat veggie broth in large pot over medium heat. Melt 2 tbsps butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add Arborio rice and toast until edges of grains are translucent with white center (about 1 minute). Add white wine and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add one ladleful of hot broth and simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Add more broth, 1 ladle at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next and stirring constantly, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 20-25 minutes longer. Stir in leek mixture, mushroom mixture, and cheese. Serve each heap of risotto with a light drizzle of white truffle oil on top. Enjoy!
Marinated Heirloom Tomato Caprese (Serves 2-4)
Confessions of a Foodie Recipe
2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, mixed yellow, red, and orange, sliced as desired
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon high-quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin strips
6 large basil leaves, sliced into fine shreds
1. Combine tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in air-tight container. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
2. Assemble salad by placing a few strips on fresh mozzarella on plate and topping with marinated heirloom tomato mixture. Garnish with basil shreds. Enjoy!