run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Friday, February 15, 2008

V-Day 2008:Kabobs and Risotto

I have a big kitchen. Yes, I realize I'm bragging, but I'm not ashamed in the least. You see, since leaving my folks house after high school, I've moved 11 times. Now I'm not saying I've lived in 11 different places, but I've packed up all my worldly belongings 11 different times. In my opinion, that's a lot of times. Moving is a pain, but on the plus side...I've learned how get rid of stuff that I just don't need. If I hadn't moved so much, I'm sure I would have quadruple the amount of stuff that I do now. It's refreshing for me to throw things away or donate to goodwill. I am all about reducing the clutter!

I know you probably don't care where I moved to and from, but I'm going to give you a list anyway because, like I said before, 11 is a lot of times to move.

1. I moved to Jackson, MS
2. and back home to Hendersonville, TN
3. back to Jackson
4. back to H'vegas (Yes, people who live there really do call it H'vegas. And yes, I realize the lameness.)
5. then I moved to Knoxville, TN
6. and then I moved to a different apartment in Knoxville
7. and then back home
8. next, I took it international and moved to Nagano, Japan
9. and then back home
10. then I moved to Memphis, TN
11. and finally I moved to the house where I currently Memphis.
Whew! That's a lot of moving in 10 years.

Anyway...besides the kitchen in my parent's house, all of my kitchens have been seriously lacking in space. I like to think that I've put in my time with small kitchens.
I like to cook, so I spend a good amount of time in this room. Counter and cabinet space are immeasurably valuable for me. That's why, when Greg and I went house shopping, a home with a nice big kitchen was on the top of our list.
Now our kitchen isn't ginormous by any means-it's actually just average sized, but it's just the biggest kitchen I've ever had!

I've been digging the kitchen since we moved in, but last night, I discovered a problem with it. Sometimes, a kitchen can be too big when you have to do a lot of things at one time, in a timely manner. I wanted to make a nice Valentine's Day dinner for Greg so I decided on swordfish kabobs and asparagus and mushroom risotto.

I reccomend that you do all your chopping and prep work before you start the risotto, since it requires constant attention. But, because I did not do this, I ended up running back and forth to chop, add stock, stir, thread skewers and baste the kabobs. It was way more hectic than it should have been. I didn't even have time to sip on my wine while cooking! It's horrible, I know! Last night, I sort of missed the small kitchens of my past, where I could just stand in one spot and do it all. At least I got in a good workout, right?

The kabob recipe came from epicurious and I used to find the recipe for risotto. I altered them a bit so here are my versions:

Swordfish Kabobs
This first list is for the marinade...I let the swordfish soak up the goodness for about 4.5 hours.
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Then you chop up the fish and veggies that you'd like on your skewers:
2 swordfish steaks
Purple onion
Green bell pepper
Red bell pepper

Next, I fired up my Cuisinart Panini Press, which can lay flat for indoor grilling. I have a George Foreman Grill also, but I like the panini press because the grill surface comes off and that makes for much easier cleaning.
Thread fish on skewers alternately with onions, green and bell peppers and mushrooms.
Arrange skewers on grill. Grill until swordfish is just cooked through, brushing skewers frequently with leftover marinade.
They were on the press for about 8-9 minutes.
The fish turned out perfectly, but the veggies were a bit on the raw side. Next time, I'll let them cook longer.
And this is the risotto recipe:
1 lb. asparagus (cut into pieces)
1 1/2 c. arborio rice
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. onion, chopped
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
5 c. stock
1/2 c. dry white wine
Parmesan cheese
Black pepper to taste
Steam the asparagus for 5 minutes and chop up.

In a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, melt the butter and add the olive oil.
Next, saute the chopped onion, mushroom and asparagus in the pan.
Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until coated.
Add the white wine and stir until completely absorbed.
Begin to add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding more stock only after all is absorbed. To prevent the rice from drying out, everything that goes in should be I heated the stock in a separate pan on the stove.
Lastly, I stirred in a handful of shredded parmesan cheese.

Happy Valentine's Day!!


Amy said...

DAMN Girl! Yum.

Dana said...

That looks AMAZING! Thanks for posting the recipe. I'll definitely have to try it.