February 13, 2012

Gouda & Spinach Risotto

Cheesy, creamy goodness!

This risotto is incredibly easy, but tastes eligible for a special occasion. You'll love the combination of fresh spinach and meaty sauteed mushrooms with the salty, nutty goodness of Gouda cheese. It can be made with vegetable stock instead of chicken for a hearty and healthy vegetarian main, or would also be delicious bedded under a juicy cut of steak or a tender lamb shank.... both of which are mouth-watering ideas for Valentine's Day dinner if you're still wondering what to prepare for tomorrow's special night!

Gouda & Spinach Risotto: serves 2 very generously, or 4 sides

Melt 1 T. butter over medium heat (I did this all in a rice cooker, but this can be done in a large skillet or saute pan). Add 1/2 of a large diced onion and stir, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 can (7 oz.) of rinsed, drained, and pressed dry mushroom pieces and stems and stir, cooking until lightly browned. Add 1.5 cups of Arborio rice and stir 2 minutes or until the edges of the rice become slightly clear. Add 1/4 cup dry white cooking wine and stir until evaporated, then add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of reduced sodium chicken stock. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed, continuing to stir and add water and stock alternately by the 1/4 cup at a time until the rice is almost soft. Add 1 large bunch of rinsed fresh spinach (you can keep the stems on, just snip the bottom if there are tough parts). Stir and cook until the spinach wilts 4-5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of 2% milk, 2 T. grated Parmesan, and 3/4 cup shredded Gouda cheese. Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste. 

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