This risotto (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) was incredible – the lemon zest and lemon juice really added a nice zing that other risottos don’t have. And it’s a great way to eat a ton of vegetables – I’m thinking about substituting spinach and other green CSA vegetables when they’re in season this spring and summer. This would be great for vegetarian dinner guests if you substituted vegetable stock for chicken stock.
Tag Archives: chicken stock
This recipe (Barefoot Contessa at Home) wasn’t so different from the Chicken Chili, but I don’t mind an excuse to eat avocados and cheese.
Made with leftovers from Roasted Winter Vegetables, I whipped up a half-batch of this soup the next day for lunch. It tasted terrific, but I need to say this right now: hot liquids, my food processor, and I do not play well together. I don’t know what it is, but every time, it makes a monumental mess that usually ends with the dog licking the floor. Said dog and I spent the morning at the vet’s office with a too-nasty-to-describe-here ear infection that day, and then we spent the rest of the morning running errands with The Rest of the World on the Saturday before Christmas, leading to a gigantic sinus/pressure headache. All in all, it wasn’t a good morning to make soup, but I was s.t.a.r.v.i.n.g., and this project isn’t cooking itself. Theoretically, however, this soup is a breeze, and it would have been if I had just kept the damned hot liquids out of my food processor. I don’t know what it is – it’s not like I have a cheap knockoff from QVC or something. It’s the real deal – a Cuisinart, grown-up food processor. Ah, well. It tasted good. And the brioche croutons made it that much better.
Roasted Vegetable Soup: p. 33, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Brioche Croutons: p. 34, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
I made a lot of risotto when we were first married. It’s inexpensive, it’s easy to keep all of the ingredients on hand, it doesn’t take too long to make, and it’s a fairly easy way to have a meatless meal. Mostly, I used Mark Bittman‘s recipe and added spinach. Then, for a while, risotto fell out of favor here, partly because my husband grew tired of it, and partly because it’s kind of hard to stir something for 30 minutes when trying to keep a toddler entertained. So, welcoming risotto back into our repertoire was like welcoming an old friend back into the kitchen. The recipe on pp. 86-88 of Barefoot Contessa Family Style is very similar to the recipe I’ve used for years, but it adds prosciutto or pancetta and roasted butternut squash. It was a delightful way to end a busy Sunday, and it didn’t even dirty that many dishes. Eating the leftovers for the next few days for lunch felt downright decadent. Note: saffron is expensive. If you know someone traveling to Spain or Israel, ask them to bring you some, because for some reason it is very affordable there. It’s a wonderful souvenir to bring home because it’s lightweight, and takes up so little space in luggage. My sister brought me back an ounce or so from her last trip to Spain, and it will last me a long time.
It’s rare that a Barefoot Contessa recipe has me scratching my head, especially for something so basic as chicken stock, but I have to admit that I’m a little befuddled. The recipe for Homemade Chicken Stock on p. 61 of Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics calls for three whole chickens and a series of whole vegetables and fresh herbs. At the end of the stock-making process, the solid ingredients are strained away and discarded. My impression has always been that stock should be made from the discards of already-used foods: shrimp shells for fish stock, for example. This way, nothing is wasted. So, I will admit this: I did not follow the recipe for chicken stock. I still made stock, and I took a picture of it, but until I have a stock pot big enough to handle three whole chickens and enough money to burn on wasted ingredients, I won’t be following that recipe to the letter. Instead, I used the carcass from roasted chicken, along with some onions, garlic, and greens. I froze the greens from the carrots we received in our CSA box this summer, and threw them into the mix. The leafy parts of the celery for the chicken salad were also put to good use. This method has served me well for years, and I’ll continue to employ it to make the most of what’s left in the kitchen.
If you’re sensing a soup theme here, you’re not imagining things. It’s been cold and rainy here, and soup seems just right for dinner. The Rosemary White Bean Soup on p. 83 of the Barefoot Contessa cookbook was simple and tasty, and I think it would be a great first course for a winter dinner party. Best of all, it’s easy enough to keep all of the ingredients on hand, and it’s healthy enough with main ingredients of beans and chicken stock. This recipe also had the added benefit of using up some fresh rosemary from my herb garden, which even if brought indoors, is certain not to last the winter.