Back in the kitchen…

After several days of being sick and miserable, surviving on soup and other take-out or restaurant food, I have re-entered my kitchen.  Tonight was sort of a compilation of what I had in my fridge and a craving for risotto.

Last week I made a great batch of roasted pepper sauce.  I served it with pasta last week and saved the rest for later on because it goes so well with so many things!  Tonight we had it with Herbed Risotto and chicken thighs.

Mama Cheater Bites Roasted Pepper Sauce

  • 2 pounds small sweet red/yellow/orange peppers (we always buy the big bag from Costco), halved length-wise
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 gloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 chile or serrano pepper, sliced thin
  • 4 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 cup (or more of you love olives) black olives, quartered
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Chop up all of the ingredients and toss in a large bowl with salt, pepper and lots of olive oil.  Put into a dutch oven or other similar baking dish with a lid.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes, then take of the lid and cook for 20 more.  I like the peppers cooked enough that I can cut them with my fork, so if you like more al dente peppers, cook for around 7-10 minutes less.

The recipe makes a lot of sauce, so I suggest that unless you are feeding 8-10 people, you break this up into 2 portions.  The first night I tossed this with pasta and topped with fresh creamy buffalo mozzarella cheese.  Then pack up the remainder for a meal like this one later in the week.  The sauce keeps well for a full week and reheats very well.

Herbed Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium leek (or 1 bunch scallions if you are like me and refuse to pay the $6 Giant wants for leeks)
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add in butter.  Saute leeks (or scallions) until soft, 7 to 10 minutes.  Add rice and stir until heated, about 3 minutes.  Add wine and let simmer until absorbed.  Meanwhile, blend spinach, basil, parsley and garlic in a food processor so it is nice and finely chopped together and set aside.  Add in broth 1/2 cup at a time until absorbed, stirring constantly.  This will take about 30 minutes total.  Once the last batch of broth is almost absorbed, cover the risotto, remove from heat and let sit for 3 minutes.  Add in the herb mixture, some salt and pepper and the cheese.  I dare you not to take cheater bites of this before you serve it, it’s so good!

*The key to a good risotto is to never leave the stove…once the rice starts sticking to the pan, its all over!  Just make sure to stir consistently, you can leave it for a minute or so to do something else in the kitchen, but don’t get too sidetracked!

Yummy Chicken Thighs

  • 4 chicken thighs (bone or no bone)
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Heat a skillet on medium high heat, add oil a couple turns around the pan.  Rinse and trim the chicken, season with salt and pepper.  Once the skillet is nice and hot, place the thighs in bone side up.  Sear for about 4-5 minutes per side til nice and brown.  Add in pepper sauce and stir.  Put in oven for around 25 minutes.

Not too shabby of a kitchen comeback if I say so myself!  Stay tuned later this week for my write-up of our weekend in Washington, VA and the delicious food and wine we had!

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One Comment

  1. Karen Burns
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    What a nice Getaway you had! A great location and place to adventure over a weekend with all of the wineries. O.K. So F.Y.I. I have officially started a “Cheater Bites” Section in the new 3-ring binder that I have been adding recipes too. SO now since I am a graphic designer, I will make it look official and design a recipe binder cover and tab section for the recioes and of course a Cheater Bites section!….keep up the great recipes, photos and newsy dialog. It’s just what I need when I have to take a decompression break with my work,

    xoxo, K.K.

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