What’s my LEAST favorite time of day lately? The 5 am workout wake-up? Nope. The 11:30 am high speed hustle to get to preschool pick-up on time? Nope. I won’t leave you hanging- it’s dinner time! On top of planning meals for the week for a family of four, I’m constantly struggling to come up with ideas that will appease the grown-ups in addition to the “refined” palates of my kids. Half the time I end up making two separate meals in order to please the masses. I know, I know… Don’t give the kids an option. If they’re hungry, they’ll eat. They won’t starve to death. What can I say? I am a sucker for a clean plate and a full belly.
As I was doing my weekly grocery store shop this morning, I had an “A-HA moment” when I realized that my kids love bacon and/or ham, they love peas they pretty much love any starch I put in front of them.
RISOTTO… DING, DING, DING!!!
So here it is. My kid (and adult) pleasing interpretation of a classic dish that’s easy, quick and most importantly, delicious!
Classic Risotto with Prosciutto and Peas
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 oz prosciutto diced
- 2 T butter
- 1 small finely minced shallot
- 1 C arborio rice
- 1/4 C white wine or champagne
- 4 C chicken stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2/3 C shelled English peas (I used fresh, but frozen are fine)
- 1/4 C heavy cream
- 1/3 C finely grated parmesan cheese
- Add the chicken stock to a medium saucepan and heat until liquid is simmering gently.
- Coat bottom of large heavy bottomed saute pan with olive oil and add diced prosciutto. Saute until pieces are nicely browned and crisp. Remove from pan with slotted spoon onto paper towel to drain.
- Add minced shallot into the pan, along with butter. Saute on medium heat until shallot is softened but not browned. Add arborio rice to the pan and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes, allowing rice to get coated in the butter/shallot mix and toasted lightly.
- Add white wine/champagne to the pan (it will bubble up) and continue cooking and stirring until liquid has almost evaporated.
- Add the 3 sprigs of thyme to the pan.
- Add a soup ladle (about 1/2 cup) of warm stock to the pan, turn the heat down to a simmer and stir until the stock is mostly absorbed, then add another ladle of stock. Continue adding stock, stirring and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
- After 15 minutes, taste the rice, it should be al-dente (cooked, but with a bite). If not, keep adding stock and stirring until rice is perfectly tender.
- Add the peas, and heavy cream and allow to cook for 2 minutes, until peas are bright green and tender.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese until combined, then add the crispy prosciutto pieces. Remove from heat and allow risotto to rest for 2 minutes. Make sure to remove the thyme stems before serving.
*** I do not add additional salt to this dish as I have found that between the stock, the prosciutto and the parmesan cheese the risotto is perfectly seasoned, but feel free to taste as you cook and add salt/pepper as needed.
What dinner time tricks do YOU have up your sleeve that help you feed the picky food critics in your house?