Snow Peas and Raspberry Salad

Sorry no picture of this beautiful dish – I couldn’t get a photo before it was consumed so you’ll have to visualize:
Bright green, crisp snow peas in a heavenly dressing with plump, juicy raspberries on top.  You know my presentation skills so I have to believe that the description is more appetizing than a photo of this little salad creation.

Steam snow peas for about 1 minute, then run under cold water to stop the cooking process.  You want the nice crunch of the snow peas so don’t over-do.

Salad dressing for Snow Peas & Raspberry Salad

1     Tablespoon olive Oil
2     Teaspoons raspberry vinegar
1/4  Teaspoon Dijon mustard

Whisk ingredients together & drizzle over snow peas, toss, then add fresh raspberries on top.  This is very colorful, crunchy, and an interesting combination of flavors.

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Basic No Fail Risotto

Whoa… breaking news… after this go check out Susan’s zucchini pancake w/salmon & goat cheese.  Yeah!

I thought I had the risotto recipe already out there – to go with the Old Bay Shrimp dish but realized it never made it this far.

I know there are tons of risotto recipes available & I notice a few comments & questions about getting the right consistency of the rice.  Having experimented a little lot,I think the trick is getting the temperature just right.  If the temp is too low, then the rice sits in the broth for too long & gets mooshy, too high a temp & everyone’s discreetly spitting little rice b-b’s into their palm.  So I’m just saying Niki, maybe next time cook it just a twitch above medium.  It should look about like this:

BASIC RISOTTO (for 2)

1          Can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
3          TBL butter
1          Cup chopped white onion
3          Cloves minced garlic
3/4       Cup Arborio rice
½         Cup vermouth or dry white wine
½         Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½         Teas salt
¼         Teas freshly ground black pepper

–  In medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer.  Cover broth & keep warm over low heat.

–  In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat (actually just a twitch above medium).  Add the onion and sauté until soft & translucent, but not brown.  Add garlic for just a minute; be sure that it doesn’t burn.  Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.  Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated.  Add 1 ½ ladle of  broth and stir until it’s almost completely absorbed.  Continue cooking rice, adding the broth 1 ladle at a time, stirring, allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20-30 minutes total.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese

–  You can add anything to basic risotto, vegetables such as peas, seafood, herbs & other seasonings or mushrooms.  But you usually don’t want these ingredients to cook for 30 minutes with the rice, or they become overcooked.  Instead add these ingredients with the final addition of broth.