I’ve realized recently that with all my posts about the things I create in the kitchen, you might think we’re a one chef household. But actually, there is not just one but TWO iron chefs fighting for counter space in our kitchen. I’m afraid it’s something of a losing battle; once you open the refrigerator our kitchen shrinks to a one person only capacity. DH has always been more about the sweet than the savory- so in an ideal world, I would make the main course and he would make dessert. He makes a mean GF chocolate chip cookie, but has also been known to venture into the world of bananas foster and caramel sugar structures. He also once presented me with a gluten free banana bread on a board with a red rose, which pretty much sealed the deal as far as I was concerned. This was the guy for me. But, since our diet doesn’t really have much room for the high calorie delights he turns out so beautifully, he’s since expanded his repertoire into the savory. (With some inspiration taken from Alton Brown and Mario.) His grilled brined shrimp is to die for, but on a busy weekday night, he’s most likely to dip into our favorite vegetarian risotto cookbook for inspiration and whip up a tasty risotto. This week he made us a delicious seven herb risotto, taking advantage of all the fresh herbs in our refrigerator. It was lovely, even made with that most non-gourmet powdered Parmesan. (I’d used up our real Parmesan in the ravioli, oops…)
The next day it was equally divine reheated. But, when I looked at the chilled risotto in my fridge the next day I felt that there was an opportunity to make something even yummier than plain risotto- delicious, crunchy risotto cakes. Sadly, most if not all risotto cakes at gourmet restaurants contain either wheat bread crumbs or wheat flour, so are off limits. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be made gluten free! Following some recipes I found online at the Food network, I shaped the cold risotto into patties, and then chilled it for an hour. I added italian seasonings, salt, pepper, and a pasta seasoning blend to ultrafine brown rice flour from Authentic Foods, and then floured the chilled patties. I heated a little olive oil in a nonstick pan, melted the same amount of butter into it, and fried up my rice patties. It was a solo meal, so I had room to add some spinach in an empty section of the pan. I seasoned the spinach with garlic powder, freshly ground pepper, and at the last minute added a bit of gluten free low sodium soy sauce before serving it. Crisp, raw baby carrots completed my healthy, delicious lunch. Sometimes leftovers are a gluten free womyn’s best friend. (I prefer girl, or goddess, but alas, those names are taken, sniff…) And it was all thanks to the delicious risotto made for me by the other chef in our household, DH… (Ra and Neko are more Idea CatPeople, unfortunately… they have yet to don an apron.) So, the next time you have some leftover risotto in your fridge or even leftover rice, consider reincarnating it as a risotto cake or rice based “burger”… You won’t be sorry!
Risotto with 7 wild herbs
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter (OR olive oil OR margarine)
1 onion or 8 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup risotto rice (short grain japanese sushi rice also works)
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 to 2/3 cups grated parmesan cheese or powdered parmesan (we were out of the real stuff)
a handful of mixed fresh herbs (we used fresh sage, parsley, basil, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary) chopped with extra for garnishing
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat stock in a pan until almost boiling, then lower heat to simmer.
Heat butter or oil in fry pan, heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions or shallots and cook until softened but not browned.
Add rice and stir until grains are translucent and glistening (a minute or two). Pour in wine and let simmer until it is absorbed.
Add stock to risotto one cup at a time, stirring and letting each cup be absorbed, repeatedly until you’ve used almost all the stock liquid and the rice is tender (about 20 minutes).
Add the last bit of stock, parmesan, mixed herbs, and seasonings, mix, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 2 more minutes.
Serve and garnish.