Cooking with Wine (Thirsty Thursday #6)

I cook with wine…sometimes I even add it to the food. ~W.C. Fields

This French Chardonnay-Sauvignon blend was a delicious pairing for my Mushroom & Corn Risotto (and a bargain–Cheap Wine Curious, I know you’d be so proud!). It had a light, crisp mouthfeel with a big apple taste and a delicate grapefruit finish–perfect alongside the creamy richness of the risotto. Add roasted chicken and asparagus, and I was a happy, happy girl!

Song and Dance

One of the best parts about living in New York City is access to great theatre–by access I mean that you don’t have to drive 2 hours one way to see a show, because I know great theatre can be found everywhere.  But back to Broadway: it is, quite simply, amazing.  If you should happen upon The Big Apple, try to make it to a show.  On or Off-Broadway, you’re guaranteed a fun time.  I have had the fortune to see quite a number of shows during my tenure here in NYC.  One of the most fun, though, was a show I went to a couple of weeks ago at 54 Below, which starred Lee Roy Reams.  The show was an homage to Lee Roy’s life in the theatre and it was magnificent!!  He sang, he danced, he relived amazing moments that he has had over the years.  Lee Roy is so entertaining and charismatic that his stories make you feel like you were there when…

54 Below is a supper club on 54th Street, between 8th and 9th Ave.  As such, part of the evening including supping.  And sup we did!  I could have easily eaten everything on the menu, but in the end chose the wild mushroom and truffle risotto.  OMFG.  It was…divine.  It was rich and creamy and the mushrooms were flavorful and not overcooked.  The truffle oil added depth and just enough richness to make you wish you were at Hogwarts and it was a never ending bowl!!

mushrooms and truffles and risotto...oh my!

mushrooms and truffles and risotto…oh my!

Dessert was nearly as scrumptious–it was a pear, apple crumble.  Alas, no picture–as Lee Roy was performing when dessert was served and I dare not interrupt the show!!  But the apples and pears melded well together with a crisp, crumbly top.  It was served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top because…well…how else would one eat crumble?!?

It was a fantastic evening!  If you live or visit New York, check out 54 Below–trust me, you won’t be sorry.  AND if you ever, ever, ever have the opportunity to see anything with Lee Roy Reams in it, GO IMMEDIATELY! And you know, be sure to invite me!!

Risotto Update!

First of all, while I normally serve my risotto with roasted chicken, I discovered something even more amazing.



That’s right, grilled porterhouse steak.   Well, honestly, it never was much of a competition.  Just do yourself a favor and don’t overgrill it.  There’s is no bigger sacrilege to a foodie.  Especially one that grew up on a Texas cattle ranch : )

PS–the nice part about fixing it for Momma is that I finally got some decent pics, so go check ’em out! Mushroom & Corn Risotto

Risotto: The New Mac & Cheese!

Okay, so don’t start writing in and defending mac & cheese.  It’s delicious and oooey & gooey and, quite frankly, sometimes that & a bottle of wine are THE best way to spend a Friday night (oh c’mon, we’ve all been there)!


When you want something a bit more, uhhh grown-up, then my dear friends, expand your horizons to risotto.  It’s so easy that it has quickly become my go-to in comfort food (and that’s saying something!).  The key is to keep stirring and add the liquid in slowly, allowing for the rice to cook into a creaminess most assume is just a lot of cheese.

I owe a HUGE thank you to Giada De Laurentiis, whose book Everyday Italian, showed me step by step how to make what is now considered my signature dish.

[on a side note: it’s a great book for Italian cooking.  There are a lot of great recipes, but the Parmesan risotto and Bechamel sauce recipes are completely worth buying the book for!!!]

As a testament to my love of risotto, I actually purchased another cookbook simply because it had 36–THAT’S RIGHT, 36!!!–risotto recipes.  Of course, the possibilities are endless: start with arborio rice and experiment to your heart’s delight!  The other night I was in the mood for risotto and usually I just make a simple risotto and serve it with roasted veggies, but I had some button mushrooms and fresh corn on the cob that needed to be used, so I added them in and O-M-G! It was delicious goodiness.  So much so that I’ve actually been eating the leftovers all week (and honestly, I’m not usually a big fan of leftover risotto). I think what I loved the most is that the mushrooms give it a savory richness and the corn a slight sweet finish that makes me sad when I get to the end of my bowl!

fresh corn & mushrooms make it pop!

fresh corn & mushrooms make it pop!

Mushroom & Corn Risotto

  • 6 cups of veggie or chicken stock
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of diced mushrooms
  • 3 ears of corn worth of kernels that you’ve carefully cut off

Warm the stock in a saucepan.   In a large skillet (I use my wok!), saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add the rice and saute the rice for a couple of minutes until it starts to brown (the longer you let it brown, the nuttier your risotto will taste!).  Add the wine and start stirring! Season with salt & pepper.  Once the wine has been reduced, add a cup of warm stock (I use a soup ladle) and stir, allowing stock to absorb.  Once the stock is absorbed, add another cup, stir, and allow stock to absorb.  Continue on until you have about 2 cups of stock left.  Add mushrooms and corn to remaining stock.  Then continue adding stock mixture to rice, stirring, and allowing stock to reduce.  Once all the stock mixture is added, sprinkle cheese on top and add butter, stirring thoroughly.  Take a quick taste and adjust salt & pepper if needed.



buon appetito, ya’ll!