Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

I love Panera. They certainly have some delicious belly-warming soups. This soup is so very similar to their Chicken & Wild Rice soup and has become a staple at our house.

I am always on the lookout for great soup recipes to feed my hungry boys. Last night was a perfect opportunity to do so. We got several inches of the white stuff yesterday and when hubs came in from snow blowing I knew he would want something satisfying. This always does the trick. Even the pickiest little ate two bowls of this soup!

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Adapted from Tidy Mom

3 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. celery, diced
3/4 c. carrots, diced
4 c. natural chicken broth
2 c. water
3 c. shredded cooked chicken
1 package (4-4.6 oz) quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet. (I use Rice a Roni naturals)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 stick butter
1 c. half & half
1 c. heavy cream

Melt butter in large pot. Add garlic and cook a minute. Add carrots and celery and sauté until soft, about 5-8 minutes, stirring often.

Add chicken broth, water, and chicken and bring to a boil. Stir in rice only (reserve seasoning packet), cover and remove from heat.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Once butter is melted, add seasoning packet and cook until bubbly. Begin adding flour mixture, a tablespoon at a time until combined completely. Cook until mixture thickens and forms a roux, being careful not to burn! Beginning adding cream/half and half mixture in small amounts. Stir constantly to combine and once all is added, cook until the mixture is thick.

Place chicken/rice mixture back on heat and slowly add cream mixture, stirring constantly. Heat soup on low for another 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!!! Happy eating!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cheddar Cheese Risotto - Breville Risotto Plus

I am always looking for a lovely side dish. Something that goes with anything and everything. What better to prepare for my family but this cheddar cheese risotto? After all, who doesn't love cheese??

My amazing Mama gifted me the phenomenal Breville Risotto Plus for Christmas. I am forever loving this woman! See, I adore risotto. So does my family. However, I don't always have an extra hour to slave over the hot stove. In comes in this Breville Risotto maker - and voila! Perfect no-stir risotto. Seriously - where have you been all my life?!? Therefore, instead of eating risotto every once in a blue moon (or when the hubby is home to entertain the monkeys hanging from my legs), we have have it (gasp!) almost weekly. Heaven, I tell you!

I will give you the directions for the traditional method of preparing the risotto, I'll also share a blurb on the off-chance you own one of these amazing machines.

*Please note - these are all my own opinions. Breville has no idea that I even exist!

Cheddar Cheese Risotto
Adapted from: Nigella Lawson

1 T. Butter
1 T. Olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
1 1/4 c. risotto
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
4 c. vegetable stock (hot if preparing the traditional method)
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c. chopped green onion

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add olive oil and sauté leeks until soft. Add risotto and stir for 2 minutes. Add wine and dijon and stir constantly until absorbed. Begin ladling hot stock into the risotto, a ladle at a time, stirring frequently until absorbed. Continue to add liquid stock until risotto is very creamy - about 25 minutes. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Garnish with green onion. Enjoy!

*If using the Breville Risotto plus - place butter and oil together after maker is warm on the sauté setting. Sauté leeks until soft and add risotto and Dijon. Add wine and stir until absorbed. Pour in stock - turn maker to risotto setting and let sit until done - about 20 min or until the maker beeps. Add cheddar and stir until melted. Garnish with green onion. Enjoy!!