Comfort Food Recipes

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Parmesan Risotto with Wheatberries and Morel Mushrooms Recipe

My husband Lulu was craving risotto lately. Unfortunately, risotto can be pretty rich, which doesn’t exactly mesh well with our exercise routine. I don’t think exercising should be a form of punishment, so I took Lulu’s craving as an opportunity to be creative.

After thinking about it, I decided to make mushroom risotto using fresh morels. I chose morels because they are packed with flavor. Instead of using heavy cream and other calorie-packed ingredients, I let the mushrooms provide most of the flavor in the dish. I also added wheatberries to the Arborio rice for texture. Just make sure to soak the wheatberries overnight, so that they aren't too chewy.

Fresh Morels


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Risotto Stuffed Zucchini Flowers Recipe

Zucchini risotto is another of the many variations of the classic Italian rice dish. To add a little twist, I stuffed the risotto into edible zucchini flowers from our garden. I asked Lulu to plant zucchini in the garden at the beginning of March and I've been patiently waiting for at least 12 zucchini flowers to blossom. Early this morning, my little munchkin and I ran to the garden and found the flowers blooming. They made a beautiful decoration for our dinner meal, and are a wonderful sign of the season. Spring is definitely in bloom.

If zucchini flowers are hard to come by in your area, you could always serve the risotto as is. You’ll miss out on the “oohs” and “aahs” though! By itself zucchini can be bland, so I added some chimichurri sauce and pecorino cheese to enhance the flavor and aroma. This is especially important if you don’t have the flowers on hand. I didn’t want to add nuts (one person in my family is allergic to them), but they would be a welcome addition as well.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers


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Artichoke Risotto Recipe Recipe

Artichoke Risotto Recipe

05.01.10 by Jackie

Stuffing risotto into jumbo artichokes can be a stylish way to serve the main course of your next dinner party. Given that the delivery device for the risotto is an artichoke, it only makes sense to repeat the flavors in the dish itself. In general, you shouldn't use too many ingredients to flavor a risotto, so I limited the additions to chopped roasted yellow bell peppers and artichoke hearts. To make the risotto creamier and more colorful, I also added cheddar cheese.

Mother's day is coming soon, and this dish would make an excellent choice if you’re planning on cooking for the mom(s) in your life. We'll be taking my mother-in-law to her favorite restaurant for lunch, and I'm planning on helping the girls prepare a special dinner at home. In case you need inspiration, I'll be posting dinner menu suggestions for Mother's day soon, so stay tuned.


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Roasted Beef Bone Marrow Recipe

Roasted Beef Bone Marrow

03.06.10 by Jackie

I have to confess that before I came to America, I never told anyone that I love eating beef bone marrow (os à moelle in French). As a child, I remember that when someone would ask me what my favorite meal was, I usually would say poulet rôti (it's probably my second fave dish). I was scared that people would think "What's wrong with her, she eats bones??" Years later, I discovered while watching Chef Anthony Bourdain's show "No Reservations" that apparently I wasn't the only one who loves eating these "dinosaur bones", as my father-in-law (who's a vegetarian) would say.

Whether the bones are cooked in phở broth or roasted in the oven, the result is just amazing. If you've never tasted marrow before, I would describe it as a very rich, buttery, succulent, unctuous and oh-so flavorful cream. I hope this description convinces you to try this decadent dish. If you haven't already, you don't know what you're missing out on.


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Ricotta Pasta with Chimichurri Recipe

Ricotta Pasta with Chimichurri

03.03.10 by Jackie

I love chimichurri sauce. The bright green color and subtle spiciness are perfect with steamed fish or grilled skirt steak. I've wanted to incorporate this delicious green sauce into a vegetarian dish for some time now to share with my husband Lulu.

So, I made a dish of fettuccine pasta with a creamy white sauce and served it with a little chimichurri sauce. The creaminess of the white sauce is made with ricotta cheese and it matches wonderfully with the garlic and herb flavor of the chimicurri. It's a healthy alternative to fettuccine alfredo that doesn't skimp on flavor.


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