Lemon Gorgonzola Risotto

(This post is for Corin, who has discovered the joys of risotto and will (hopefully) love the choice of ingredients!)

Far be it from me to rub it in the rest of the country’s face that California’s generous weather system has graced us with summer a couple of months early, but I’ll go ahead and do it anyway: 80 degrees, baby.

Such brilliant gusts of warm, freshly-cut grass breezes brought me to lemons and lemons brought me to Deb and Deb brought me to risotto. Add in the leftover gorgonzola from a little wine and cheese party last night and the world just made sense again.

Backed up view

I highly recommend investing in a bottle of lemon oil, which packs so much of a punch you only have use it sparingly and don’t need to purchase frequently. It mellowed out the gorgonzola perfectly (which was very strong) and was the perfect end to a warm day.


Lemon Gorgonzola Risotto

1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced fine
1/2 c short-grain or arborio rice
1/4 c white wine
2.5 c warm stock
1/2 c grated parmeggiano
1/3 c crumbed gorgonzola
1 scant t lemon oil or 1 T lemon juice
1 t lemon zest
2 T diced chives (optional)

Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat and, when hot, add the oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add in the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and reduce for 1 minute, or until absorbed a bit. Add in 1/2 c stock and reduce the heat to med-low, so that you have a high simmer going. Stir the rice frequently as you grate the parm, crumble the gorgonzola, zest the lemon, and dice the chives. Gradually add the stock into the rice as it absorbs and bubbles, approximately every 3-5 minutes. Remember to stir frequently and add enough stock along the way, or else the bottom of the pot will burn the simmering rice. After about 20 minutes or when the rice is at desired done-ness, turn off the heat. Stir in the parm, lemon oil, zest, and gorgonzola. Plate the risotto and add a sprinkling of chives on top. I served mine over a bed of arugula and spinach, which is pretty much how I eat everything.

Top view 1

Side view 3

Corn Risotto-Stuffed Poblanos

Hey there, stranger. Now that the holidays are over, it seems that everyone is being punished for their Christmas consumerism with a strong, sturdy bout of the flu. The memories of illness have come screaming back to me with phlegmy headaches, a hacking cough, and the knowledge that I look sexy with Kleenex permanently wedged into my cranium.

Now that we’ve all whetted our appetites, let’s talk food!

My dear sister’s family unit gave me the delightfully awesome Smitten Kitchen cookbook and I was so over the moon excited that I blacked out from sheer joy. So far I’ve made her Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats (with the addition of toffee bits….Yes, they were amazing) and these peppers, both of which have been to die for. I’ve also got my eye on the Turkey Meatballs, so keep your eyes peeled for that bad boy.

This dish was very enjoyable. It wasn’t difficult, but it was a tad tedious to char the peppers, rub the skins off, and stuff them. I would definitely suggesting broiling them instead of doing it on the stove, since the latter requires much more attention (and I’m guessing time). Super tasty, though, so I would definitely recommend giving them a whirl!

Corn Risotto-Stuffed Poblanos

Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, adapted slightly

8 large poblano peppers
6 cups broth, heated
2 T olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves
2 c short-grained rice, such as Arborio
1/2 c white wine
1.5 c corn, fresh or frozen
3/4 c grated Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 t salt
1/2 t paprika
For the crema sauce:
1 small adobo chipotle pepper, plus sauce from the can
1/2 c greek yogurt
1 T milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 t paprika
crumbled queso fresco

For the peppers you can either char them over high heat on a gas stove, turning frequently, or you can broil them until they are crispy around the edges. You will need to ensure an even char all the way around or else the skin will not come off very well! Set the charred peppers aside in a covered bowl.

To make the risotto, heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute, then add the rice. Toast for a couple of minutes, add the wine, and cook until evaporated, stirring frequently. Add 1 cup of the broth and simmer, stirring every minute or so, until the broth is absorbed. Continue to add the broth 1/2 c at a time.

When you are down to your last addition of broth, add in the corn, salt, and pepper. When the rice is creamy and tested for done-ness, turn off the heat and add the pepper jack cheese and paprika.

Scrape the charred skins off the peppers with a knife, then cut a slit in each one and scoop out the seeds. Stuff each one with a healthy portion of the risotto and top with the queso fresca. In a preheated 400 degree oven, bake the peppers for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the crema. Put the pepper, yogurt, spices, and milk in a food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients.

When the peppers come out, put a dollop of crema on top and serve warm.