Winter is cold, even in Malta. This time of the year you want something warm, comforting, which makes you feel cosy and to be enjoyed with a glass of lovely red wine. For me a risotto is just the perfect food these days. I always think, no.. it’s a lot of work, but actually there’s nothing cosier on a dark cold winter day than stay at home, open a bottle of wine, put on some nice music and start cooking a risotto. Perfect with some nice company as you don’t really have to focus much on the cooking!
What I also like with risotto is the fact that you can actually throw anything in it what your fridge gives you. Left overs of wine, any kind of veggies and cheese. Doesn’t matter if you went shopping or not, I guess you’ll always find something you can make a risotto with.
In my case I wanted to use up a box of mushrooms and a lovely bunch of green asparagus. So I cleaned the asparagus and shortly cooked it in boiling water with some salt and lemon and kept the water for later. The cut up mushrooms I fried in a pan with some olive oil, oregano, thyme and seasoned with salt, pepper and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar. In the meantime I fried the cut up onion slowly on medium heat, added the garlic and the risotto rice until fragrant nice and shiny. Then start to top up with liquids, but only as much to cover the rice. During you finish the veggies and set the table never forget to top up with liquids. When everything is ready (ca. 20min later) and the risotto rice is al dente add the knob of butter, the grated cheese and some of the veggies. Stir it, so the cheese melts, and decorate on a nice plate with some of the asparagus and mushrooms on the side. Lovely with some salad and wine. Enjoy with some nice company and music 🙂
1 box of mushrooms
1 bunch of asparagus
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of risotto
liquids: left overs of white wine, 0,5l of veggie stock (I used the asparagus stock)
olive oil, knob of butter
some nice herbs e.g. dried oregano & thyme, rosmary etc.
parmesan or similar cheese (grated)
Do you also hate it to throw away left overs? I really do and that’s why I always try to make out something nice of things left over from a party or a meal. Recently a friend brought some nibbles which were little skewers of cheese, fruit, sausages and ham. Funnily everybody ate the cheese and fruit but not the meaty stuff. So what to do with all these little pieces of smoked ham and the mini sausages? Then I had a great idea – and I just knew my BF would love it too.. it’s more of a male dish, but every now and then I enjoy it too…
In Austria we call it ‘Wurstnudeln’ (pasta with sausages’). You fry a big onion slowly in olive oil and a knob of butter, cut all the left overs of cut meat or sausages (even after a BBQ etc) and add it to the fried onions. What’s really nice is to add a fresh fennel bulb which is cut in very thin slices. This is a thing Italians do in a similar dish but they use Salsiccia instead of the ham and sausage leftovers. Add a gulp of white wine (leftovers in opened bottels are perfect for cooking too!) and let it simmer a bit on low to medium heat. Add some pepperoncino, sea salt and fresh herbs if you have, e.g. parsley comes really nice.. you’ll see it just smells divine!
In the meantime coo the pasta (small ones as Gnocchetti Sardi, Farfalle or Fusilli are perfect) al dente, strain and add them directly into the pan with the fried onion – ham mix. Stir a bit so the pasta can soak up all the yummy juices and enjoy with some grated cheese on top. Lovely with a green salad!
People can say what they want but I still think New Years Eve is a special night… You wanna spend it with people you love, in a location which is special to you and you wanna have fun!! This year it’s the first time we decided to celebrate in Malta so we wanted to party in our lovely flat with our loveliest friends. Luckily everybody brought drinks and nibbles so it wasn’t a hell of a lot of work to prepare. But still I wanted to do something special, something to boost the mood and to kick off into a good party night! After some research on the web a found a recipe on BBCfoods which sounded quite nice.. easy to make, fruity but strong, I had some ideas how to change it a bit to my preferences and a new star was born 🙂
Fizzy cranberry blush (serves 10, for 2-3 glasses per person 😉
900ml Cranberry juice
600ml Orange juice
1 bottle of Prosecco
Mix the vodka, cointreau, cranberry and orange juice in a big bowl. Ingredients should be pre-cooled. Add the berries of the pomegranate, stir it and fill it in 2 jugs. Keep the jugs in the fridge until guests arrive. Offer it pure with ice cubes or fizzy (which we all preferred!) in a champagne flute. For the fizzy version take half of the jug and top up the glass with prosecco. Hmmmmm… party mood guaranteed, I promise!!!!
(Tip: buy the double of this if it happens to you too that people like it so much that we made a second batch later on ;-)))
Wishing you a great new year, many fun parties, lovely drinks & food, love & joy, health & everything else you wish for! Keep on reading my blog and recommend it to your friends.. thank youuuu! Love, N. xx