Monday, August 6, 2012

Oven-Baked Risotto

*adapted from gena knox's southern my way

risotto is one of those dishes that makes my knees weak, my mouth drool & my hips hate me for a month. it's absolutely delicious but is usually laden with butter, cheese & so many other delicious food enemies!

when i spotted this version in gena knox's southern my way, i knew it was love at first sight. it's oven-baked...which takes away the time you spend stirring & she uses lower-calorie additions to create perfectly healthy risotto. well...maybe not perfectly healthy but indulge at your own risk!

{oven-baked risotto}


ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 6-8
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces country ham, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 cup frozen spring peas
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely graded
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped

1. pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. saute onion & garlic until soft, about 6 minutes. add ham & saute until warmed through & beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.

2. place rice in a 9x13-inch casserole dish; stir in onion mixture, wine & 4 cups stock. cover tightly with foil & bake for 30 minutes. remove, spread peas over rice, replace foil & bake for 10 more minutes.

3. remove risotto from oven & gently stir in additional 1/2 cup stock, cheese & basil. season with freshly cracked pepper & continue stirring until risotto is thick & creamy, about 3-4 minutes. add more stock for a thinner consistency, if desired.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gena Knox: Southern My Way

*southern my way by gena knox

i have been dying to get this cookbook for some time...and finally got my hands on a copy about a month ago. i tell you...it's everything i love about cooking, especially in the summer months. all of gena knox's recipes are EASY (down to her cooking instructions: FIRST, NEXT, LAST) & all ingredients are fresh & easy to find in your local grocery store. 

just a blurb about gena:
*gena grew up in the small town of reynolds, georgia & spent her younger years shucking corn, selling peas on the roadside & helping out in her mom's kitchen. her recipes are rooted in the southern classics she was raised on...but she's simplified these recipes, given then a contemporary twist & often lightened up on the calories! she's also passionate about seeking out local foods & farmers & highlights some of her favorites in her cookbook. in 2008, she & her husband started "fire & flavor", a company that produces grilling planks, skewers, spices & more. this georgia girl is one to watch!

since i received southern my way from my mother, i've had it by my side at a farmers market visit & it served as my bible to last weeks dinner menus. i'll highlight a few recipes i made from it because they are easy & full of flavor! 

kicking things off....{oven-roasted okra}. i have made this twice this week & served it with a little side of ranch {add in a little milk, stir with a fork & you have a nice dipping sauce}! delicious as a side dish or fun appetizer. 

*oven-roasted okra-from gena knox's southern my way 

{oven-roasted okra}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 4-6
  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. pre-heat broiler. place rimmed baking sheet under broiler to preheat for 5 minutes.

2. toss okra with olive oil & salt. spread evenly on preheated pan & roast for 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until okra is tender & beginning to brown.

3. season okra with freshly cracked pepper & additional salt if needed. drizzle with extra olive oil if desired. 

*serve with a ranch dipping sauce if serving as an app {3 tablespoons of ranch, mixed with 1 tablespoon milk}.
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