Well, we're home from our vacation. We had a good time, although Myrtle Beach totally wasn't what we expected. It reminded us of Laughlin, NV but on the beach. There were no oceanfront restaurants or bars that we could find, really there were very few seafood restaurants we could find. And the weather was only okay--we only made it to the beach twice because the other days were rainy or cold. We did drive to Charleston, SC and went and toured Fort Sumter, so that was way cool. Charleston was a neat town--I'd definitely go back there. The boy had fun playing on the beach, and he played mini golf for the first time, and we went to an aquarium. It was a good trip, but I'm glad to be home. I'm pretty tired of eating out, so I was excited to plan out my menu for the week.
I filled in a few days with some things I've been wanting to make, but I had a couple holes. The husband said to try and fill them with vegetarian options, and I remembered this "risotto" recipe I had made awhile back. We really liked it, and all I needed to buy were a couple vegetables for it, so I thought that would be good.
Mock Vegetable Risotto
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup converted white rice
2-1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely diced
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into sixths and thinly sliced
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 cup seeded, diced tomato, either fresh or canned
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
liberal seasoning of freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp white wine or dry vermouth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp minced fresh basil
Heat the butter in a 3-4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and saute for 2 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the vegetable stock and salt and cover the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Do not let it brown. Stir in the red pepper and saute 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and fennel and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the peas and a generous seasoning of freshly ground pepper. Remove the pan from the heat.
After the rice has cooked about 17 minutes, it should be tender, not mushy, and there should be a little stock left over that has not been absorbed. At this point, stir in the wine and then all the sauteed vegetables.
Sprinkle in the two cheeses and the basil, then gently stir to incorporate them. Cook 1 minute and serve.
I used brown rice last time I made this, and that's what I'll use this time as well. When I went back to look up this recipe I read my review and noticed I let the rice cook about 45 minutes. Since there's a lot of veggies in this, I think the only side we'll have is some good looking bread I bought at the grocery store today and some salad. I swear everytime I travel I come home wanting to eat nothing but vegetables.
This was good, just like the first time. I ended up using roasted red peppers because regular red peppers were $$$$$ at the store, and I had some roasted ones in the fridge. I also added in some canned corn because we'd had it the night before and about half the can was left. It was tasty. There were hardly any leftovers. And...I remembered to take a picture!
And, this was the first time I used my new Le Creuset mortar and pestle...very exciting!