Monday, November 21, 2011

Cheese and Whine: Two Buck Chuck Risotto

I was going to say put the Franzia down and trade it for some "Two Buck Chuck", but now I have even less authority to do so. First off, I am someone who has absolutely no business talking about wine. However, it is fun to pretend that picking wine off the shelf at Trader Joe's makes me a wine connoisseur. 

The rumor mill has been flying about how "Two Buck Chuck" is so cheap. However, I can now tell you that it wasn't a husband getting revenge in a messy divorce (which I believed) or that when United Airlines went bankrupt they sold a warehouse of it to Trader Joe's. The truth is when I was trying to write a post about my awesome "Two Buck Chuck" experience, I found that actually Fred Franzia actually owns the Charles Shaw wine label, which explains a lot. Brilliant marketing strategy. 

Still, I think if you are a college student, or someone who knows absolutely nothing about wines, like myself, it's a cheap delicious easy meal. (Note: It probably will taste even better with a wine picked by someone who knows what they are actually doing).  

This is still a great risotto that I adapted from Pioneer Woman. I did take out a lot of the butter and whipping cream since I am trying to eat healthy because I'm running a 10k on Thanksgiving. 

My mom and dad always would use that corny parental joke line. "Would you like some cheese with that whine?" Didn't yours too?  

Two Buck Chuck Risotto 

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Large Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cups Arborio Rice, Uncooked
  • 8 whole Sundried Tomatoes Packed In Oil, Drained And Minced
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine (Two Buck Chuck Chardonnay)
  • 5 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • Salt As Needed
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan, Freshly Grated
  • Fresh Basil, (optional)

  1. Heat broth (note: it's important the broth be low sodium) in a saucepan or in a microwave safe pitcher. Set aside.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add dry rice. Stir to coat and cook for 3 minutes, stirring gently.
  4. Pour in wine. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add in minced sundried tomatoes and stir.
  5. Then begin adding broth, one cup at a time, stirring gently while the rice absorbs the liquid each time. Repeat this until the rice is done---it usually takes between 4 and 5 cups of broth. The rice should have a slight bite to it, but not be crunchy at all.
  6. Remove from heat, then stir in Parmesan. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a main dish with a salad, or as a side dish with steak, chicken, or fish. Delicious!
Adapted from: Pioneer Woman

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. This year I was dressed as a sick patient...literally. Unfortunately, I missed all of the holiday fun due to simultaneous having bronchitis and a sinus infection (the reason why I have been very very bad at posting).  I wish that it was just a trick, but I will give you a recipe as a treat instead. You just might have to wait until next year to use it, but maybe you can use it as a snack on Thanksgiving? 

Still, I was able to participate in some activities. When Ryan and I were at home a couple weeks ago, one night he surprised me with pumpkins! (I had been constantly not so subtly hinting to him how much I wanted to carve a pumpkin)

Can you guess which one is mine? It's not what you would think. I decided to try free hand and give mine a sinister mustache (left pumpkin).

Pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite fall treats, however you can't be afraid to get a little messy. You have to make sure there is no pumpkin gack/spooge on them before roasting. 

This is a very simple recipe for pumpkin seeds from Martha Stewart

Now I know how Sally feels. 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Coarse salt

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. In a small bowl, toss together pumpkin seeds and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. 3. Evenly spread pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and transfer to oven. 
4. Cook until toasted and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes.
Wash and dry the seeds first and make sure there is no pumpkin spooge 

I'll see you next year Great Pumpkin!