Thursday, March 28, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto

Holy mother, this meal was something to write about. For oh so many reasons!

I love risotto. I discovered it in high school when I was working for a catering business, but I had no idea how to make it. Since then I've enjoyed it at a couple restaurants (hello, The House, San Francisco!) but never tried to create it myself.

And now I know why.

It takes freaking for-EV-er. Seriously.

(In case you don't know, risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish. It takes a special kind of rice called Arborio, so don't make it out of your regular white rice like I was going to! It gets its creaminess from soaking up a ton of hot liquid over the course of about half your earthly life. You can add tons of flavors like mushroom, asparagus, or like I did, sweet potato.)

Since it's spring break (woohoo!) and I had the time, I decided to carpe this diem and make some risotto. I picked this recipe from the marvelous Ms. Jessica at How Sweet It Is and got busy.

I followed her recipe almost exactly, so I'm not going to give you a blow-by-blow, just a couple notes:

  • I took my time with this, so it took me probably 2 - 2 1/2 hours total, including all the potato roasting, chopping, and other prep. 
  • It takes absolutely forever to just do the rice. I seriously stood over the stove stirring risotto for about 75 minutes. I thought I was getting carpal tunnel and I was bored out of my mind. That being said, it's kind of awesome to see the rice soaking up all the liquid (over a quart of liquid people, I needed an extra half can of broth). 
  • Holy flavor batman, don't skimp on good ingredients for this baby. Good parmesan and bacon. And roast those potatoes in ALL the spices. Your taste buds will thank you. 

Since this is vegetarian dish and there are no such meatless meals in my household, I made this with some chicken. I seared the chicken in half butter, half olive oil (about a tablespoon of each) and sprinkled with salt and paprika. Placed it in a glass dish with some bacon crumbles and all the juices, and baked it low and slow (about 300) for about a half hour. It came out smoky and tender and quite yummy. 

Guys? It was totally worth it. I loved every sweet-potatoey bite. And as my foodie (snort) husband said, "everything tastes like bacon, so I think it's great!" 

Yes, there is a conspicuous lack of green. I'd add a good salad or green beans, but I was totally done and starving at this point, so we just ate!

What's the most complicated thing you've ever made?