Making a rich, creamy (dairy-free) risotto is not on the top ten list of most home cooks but it should be because risotto is a dish that avails itself to dozens of variations and typically requires no more than 25 minutes of time from start to finish. The key to a great risotto is the quality of the rice, the ingredients used to flavor the risotto, and a commitment to stir the risotto as it cooks to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan. Read more
Risotto is usually thought of as a wintertime dish because of its hearty nature but during the summertime, a light risotto with asparagus and mushrooms can be a refreshing change. Skip the butter and parmesan cheese; instead rely on a bit of olive oil, dry white wine, vegetables, a small amount of mild elephant garlic and broth to give the risotto body, flavor and texture. Tender and creamy but not heavy, Vegan Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms is especially delicious with chopped fresh parsley and a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt added just before serving. Read more
Over the holidays, I rely on outside sources for many products – especially hors d’oeuvres and desserts – because these items can be stored in the freezer, are quick to thaw or bake, easy to serve (especially when time is limited) and delicious.
Cheese and crackers are certainly good but spinach and feta in puff pastry, mini quiche, or Brie en Croute are even better, especially on a cold wintry evening when friends drop by for a drink. In the same light, homemade desserts are always wonderful but not always feasible so when a spectacular dessert is needed last-minute, I turn to my freezer where stacks of products from two companies – Dufour Pastry Kitchens and Galaxy Desserts – line the shelves. Both companies make magnificent frozen hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Read more