One GRITS Journey To Convert Beloved Southern Recipes to Paleo Approved, and Darn GOOD too!

This is my story of how I am striving to change my family's life, nutritionally, for the better. Here in the deep South Paleo is a foreign word. No one has heard of it, and gluten free is really almost as unheard of...
After reading Gary Taubes enlightning GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES I was determine to change! Armed with my own two hands, the internet (thank God for, and all those wonderful blogs and podcasts available now, I am beginning my journey.
Please feel free to join me as I try to adapt all of our Southern Favorites into Paleo Appropriate Scrumptiousness!!! (and all Gluten Free) I will try to post all of the good ones, and may even blog about some failures along the way.

21 March 2011

The best Risotto I have ever made!!!!

I was in the mood for COMFORT food today. I had a migrane all the day long! FROWN!!!
I also wanted to use up what was left of my basil and fresh baby carrots from the farmers market this weekend.... So I decided to make a Spring Risotto-- cue in fresh asparagus!
Today is the first day of Spring After all ya'll!!!! Lets celebrate with a SPRING RISOTTO!!!
This may not exactly be Southern, but hey I used fresh local SC bounty to make it...

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Baby Carrots
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups good white wine (one you would drink!!!)
1-2 cups more liquid ( water or a stock) 
3 T butter
2 T EVOO (good cold pressed)
1/2 large vidala onion, diced finely
2 garlic cloves, mince
 1 bunch asparagus
handful of baby carrots
1 cup Parmesan, freshly grated ( quality counts here too)
handful fresh basil, minced
6 slices bacon,cooked and broken into small pieces
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
 sea salt and pepper, to taste 

Preheat oven to 425.
First, clean your asparagus and your carrots. 
Toss with good EVOO ( 2 T I think, I didn't measure), salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top. Toss all together well and then throw on a baking sheet. Set aside.
When your risotto is about halfway done (20 minutes in)
You will pop these in the oven at 425 degrees F and  Roast for about 20 min or so. 
Second, spread out your bacon on a sheet pan and have it ready to pop in the oven with the veggies for the last 10 minutes of their cook time. ( this is a very easy way to cook bacon, and it gets nice and crisp in about 10 min at  425)
Next, you want to make sure you have all of your ingredients for your risotto ready ( all the chopping, dicing, etc..) and make little piles for yourself- this is because once you start your risotto you will be stirring pretty much constantly!
To make the risotto:
Melt your butter and EVOO together in a heavy bottom pot ( I use my Le Cruset here)
Add onion and cook over med-low till translucent.
Add garlic and saute another min. 
Add Rice and stir well, coating all the rice with butter/EVOO and saute for another min. Add herbs de Provence. Stir.
Add first cup of white wine and start stirring.. From here on out you will be stirring pretty much constantly, (just  a nice slow stir). When all of the wine has been absorbed into the rice, add another 1/2 cup wine. When this is absorbed, add your last 1/2 cup wine. Keep proceeding in this manner, now using a bit of your liquid at a time, until your risotto is done. (You may not use all of your liquid.) When it starts to appear super creamy, and lush looking-taste it. It should have a tad bit of bite to it, but be pretty soft overall. If not add a tad more of your liquid, let it be absorbed, and taste again!When its to your liking--
Next, add your Parmesan and stir. 
Take out your asparagus/ carrots and bacon from oven ( if you haven't already) and chop them into pieces. Add your veggies and bacon to risotto and stir to combine. 
Now you are ready to dig in!!! Enjoy!
Salt/pepper to taste per plate using good quality finishing salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • quality matters here ya'll!!! You get out what you put in! - Use good stuff!
  • you could use pancetta instead of bacon- just brown it off ahead of time- I would like this better probably, but I had bacon on hand
Oh, by the way this got a 2 thumbs up review from my kiddos!!! Jack said I was the bestest mom ever!!!

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