I recently started a new job. As you can imagine, this has dramatically reduced the amount of time I have available for cooking. For the last year or so I had been home with the kids, but now I am back at work and that means a complete re-approach to dinner time.
We have been through this before and, I have to be honest, I prefer cooking when I have all kinds of time to prepare and shop for ingredients. Who wouldn’t feel the same way?
But despite the change in schedule I am determined to make the kind of food that we are used to eating. It requires a lot more organization and it inevitably means making meals during the week that take less time to prepare. Luckily I have a roster of quick dinners. These are the “30 minute or less” meals that get you through the Monday to Friday crunch.
Like the other night, when I made Risotto with Feta Cheese and Parsley. My kids are always happy with this dish. My eldest daughter loves feta cheese, so I can pretty much feed her anything as long as it includes feta. My youngest just loves rice, so check and check. Risotto comes together in about 20 minutes, which was just long enough to steam some green beans and barbeque a couple of sausages (to keep hubby happy). Voila, dinner in less that 20 minutes! And the recipe makes enough for leftovers, so there’s lunch solved for the next day. Boy, if only everything came together so quickly, like trying to get everyone out of the house in the morning…but that's another story.
Risotto with Feta Cheese and Parsley
adapted from the June 1995 issue of Cooking Light Magazine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
6-7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. Stir in rice, saute one minute more. Add the white wine and cook until just absorbed. Stirring constantly, add 1/2 cup broth; cook until liquid is nearly absorbed. Continue adding the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is nearly absorbed before adding the next portion of broth. One the rice is cooked but still firm stop adding broth. You may have some unused stock left.
Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup feta cheese, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Spoon rice mixture into a serving bowl; top with 1/4 cup feta cheese and pepper.