Risotto Fritto (Fried Risotto)

14 01 2014

The Sicilians are known for Arancini, which essentially are fried rice balls often made with leftover risotto and cheese. Simply delizioso, and a great use of leftovers! However these beauties are typically coated in an egg/flour/breadcrumb mixture and deep-fried, not so good for your figure. Rather than adding all the extra ingredients, I just pan-fried my leftover risotto as is in a little olive oil until nice and crunchy on the outside. Easy-peasy, and so tasty! Using up your leftovers doesn’t have to be boring, you just have to think outside the microwave.

Risotto Fritto (Fried Risotto)

Risotto Fritto (Fried Risotto)

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat:

Form leftover risotto into patties, like a burger. You can make them however large or small you’d like.

Heat a little olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute patties until they form a deep, golden brown crust on both sides. Remove from skillet and season lightly with salt.

Serve over a bed of dressed spinach (olive oil and lemon juice) topped with parmesan cheese.

Quinoa and Kale Patties

12 01 2014

I’m a sucker for savory patties like these…I’ll take crab cakes or croquettes any day! So when I found the idea for these quinoa and kale patties, I was thankful I had all the ingredients on hand because I had to make them immediately! Delicious, filling enough for a main meal and best yet, healthy….a great go-to meatless meal. If you make the patties smaller these would also make a great appetizer!

Quinoa and Kale Patties

Quinoa and Kale Patties

The following makes 8 patties (adapted from Yummy Supper):

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken/veggie broth or water (using broth will add more flavor)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cups kale (about half a bunch), stems removed and chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup panko
  • Lemon zest and juice

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Mine was: add 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water (I used chicken broth) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool.

Meanwhile, saute the kale in a little olive oil in a large skillet until slightly wilted down to about a heaping cup or so. Season to taste with salt and add the garlic. The warm kale will heat the garlic a bit. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, sautéed kale and garlic, eggs, cheese, green onions, salt, red pepper flakes, and panko. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid (if needed). Batter should be moist, but not runny. Form mixture into patties, you can make them as large as you’d like.

Over medium-low heat, add some more olive oil to the skillet you used to saute the kale in. Cook up to 6 patties at a time (don’t overcrowd the pan). Cover the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the bottom is well browned. Flip and cook the other side for another 7-10 minutes until both sides are nice and brown. Remove patties from skillet and season with salt.

You can garnish/top these patties with just about anything you’d like….hot sauce, lemon juice, etc. In addition to topping with lemon zest and juice, I had some leftover yogurt sauce from a dinner I made earlier in the week that I decided to serve with these patties (1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp each chopped fresh mint and cilantro, 1 tsp each grated fresh garlic and ginger and salt and pepper to taste)…delicious! These patties can dry up, so I recommend serving with lemon wedges.

Pesto Macaroni With Shredded Chicken, Sauteed Green Beans and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

14 11 2013

My mother-in-law had an abundance of basil in her garden, and when summer came to an end she whipped up a huge batch of pesto and gave me a nice big mason jar’s worth! Her pesto was the inspiration for this quick dinner, and a reminder not to let summer’s fruitfulness go to waste! Dig out that pesto in the back of your fridge and whip up dinner…presto!

Pesto Macaroni With Shredded Chicken, Sauteed Green Beans and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The following serves 2 with leftovers:

  • 1 lb of green beans, trimmed (asparagus would also be a delicious veggie to use here too!)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 box of whole wheat macaroni
  • Handful of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Boil water, add salt and cook macaroni to al dente according to package instructions. Once done, reserve some of the cooking water and drain.

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans and cover. Saute green beans (covered which will also partially steam them) while the pasta cooks, tossing occasionally. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add pesto, cooked macaroni, shredded chicken and sun-dried tomatoes to the green beans and stir to combine. Add a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen up the pesto and turn into a sauce. As far as how much pesto to add, just eyeball it – you want all the ingredients coated.

Dish up, top with grated parm and enjoy!