Friday, September 9, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - creamy, cheesy, garlicky rice with spinach

My cool burner covers.
Ahhh, comfort food.  What is it about the fall that just demands comfort food?  All I know is that I am always delighted to answer that command.  This week's FFwD recipe is all about comfort food.  Any recipe that starts with the word creamy is going to be ok with me...add cheesy & garlicky and I'm sold. The recipe calls for Arborio rice, which I happened to be out of.  I thought, no worries, Vons will have it.  I am sadly discovering that the Vons in my little beach community is woefully inadequate.  I mean, what self-respecting grocery store doesn't have Arborio rice?  After my first try at Vons, I then stopped at the little grocery store (cutely named "Wally's") to see if they might have it.  After searching high and low I did find the Arborio rice...thank goodness.  I realized I am going to have to look at the recipes at the beginning of the month and make a plan for sourcing the more unusual ingredients early in the month (although, really, in who's world is Arborio rice "unusual?")

Anyway, just a long way of saying that I had to hunt for the damn rice this week...but it was well worth the trips.  Dorie uses one of her favorite tricks with boiling the rice in chicken stock.  This infuses the rice with a fabulous, hearty flavor (it's great to cook pasta this way...as I've discovered in another of Dorie's recipes...her dressy pasta "risotto."  You add some sauteed onions, garlic, spinach, Gruyere (I used the smoked Gruyere...holy toledo was that the right call!) and cream to the rice and you have a dish that everyone in your family will be asking for more of (at least they were in my family...luckily there are only three of us, so there was a bit leftover for lunch, yeah!!)


Pictures aren't fabulous this week.  While make the rice, I was also making a chicken dish that I was creating on the fly.  I had four pots going at the same time (and trying to make egg salad for lunches too).  That old multi-tasking snake is raising her evil head!  The chicken turned out really well (I just sliced up some raw breasts, sauteed them in a little oil with salt and pepper, deglazed the pan with white wine, stirred in a little cream of mushroom soup, heated it through and then finished it with sour cream...darn if it didn't taste fabulous!), but with stirring all the different pots...photographs weren't high on the priority list.  (It's all my stove's fault...damn electric stove is so unforgiving, it makes cooking multiple things difficult because you can't adjust the heat quickly when you need to.  I'm really looking forward to installing a new stove top, sometime soon.)
My son is in his second week of middle school (at his new school) and is settling in really well.  He's going to start running on the Cross Country team this week and I'm excited to go to his meets and cheer him on.  I've been on pins and needles all summer worrying about how he would like his new school.  I'm more than relieved that he really loves it.  I can actually sleep well again!  Moving is always so much fun (not), it's nice to finally feel like we are settling in.

Click here to see all the other amazing FFwD participants this week.  Have a terrific week!

14 comments:

Cher said...

Love the burner covers - and who knew that Arborio rice would be the panic item of the week.
Good luck to your boy on X-C. This is my last year as an X-C mom (my girl is a Sr.) and there is going to be a huge hole next fall when I don't have meets to go to :-( I am already teary eyed.

oneexpatslife said...

Well I'm happy to hear that you were able to track down arborio rice. I guess one never knows what the ''problem'' ingredient is going to be, last week I had a heck of a time finding corn for corn soup!

I can also commiserate on the subject of electric stoves, I hate them! They really are the worst inventions ever, I end up burning everything when I am forced to use them. With no gas hookup we ended up buying an induction for our apartment, which is better, but I still miss my old gas range. Oh well.

Your rice looks very tasty!

Lizzy said...

Glad you found the rice...check out the cookies needed for next Friday...I'm already in a quandary! Happy you all enjoyed this one, too, and that your son is adjusting to his new school :)

Kris' Kitchen said...

I regularly get frustrated trying to find "common" ingredients. Grocers try to tell me they are "seasonal" or give other excuses...I usually think they don't know what they are talking about. Anyway, glad you found the right rice...made all the difference and fun to try with this method. Glad you are settling in and that your son seems to have adjusted. Moving is always hard. Hope I never move again!

Betsy said...

Ten years ago, I could see Arborio rice being an unusual ingredient, but today, it's surprising. Glad to hear you found it and had success. This one was oh so good.

Elin said...

I can't find Arborio rice over here. So I have to substitute it with Basmati rice and surprisingly it turned out great. Glad that you managed t find the rice and enjoyed it :) Good luck to your boy in his X-C and it is good that he is settling down in his new school :)

Frolicking Night Owl said...

great idea to put it in individual size dishes ... very nice!!

luciacara said...

I predict you will like the Cinnamon Crunch Chicken - we made it last night & it was really really good and I think the taste was probably similar to your chicken "on the fly".

Nice that your son is settled into middle school - what a relie!

acookingmizer said...

I was looking around at home, while I was visiting the States and found that aborio rice was not regularly stocked. so its not just you! But glad you found it so you could enjoy this dish with us!

Frankly Entertaining said...

I'm glad that middle school is going well so far. My oldest is 7, and I'm already worried about the mine field that is middle school! I sometimes wish they'd announce the Dorie recipes earlier so that I could do all my sopping at once. I live in a big city and I still can't always find all the right ingredients!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Great dish, huh? And glad you managed to fit it in despite your hectic schedule! So glad to have you back amongst us!

Kathy said...

I'm pretty lucky living where I live...we have a lot of ethnic grocers. Your rice looks so yummy...glad you enjoyed it!

onewetfoot.com said...

It sounds like your lovely environment is a good trade off for having to plan around grocers' limitations. The chicken you made to go with this sounds like a good pairing.

tastymayhem said...

I'm impressed with all the stoetop juggling! I'm still cooking on electric, but spent a week cooking with a friend's gas stove after ten years without and was dissapointed that water took forever to boil. LOL. I don't think we are going back to gas even though you need to gague cooking carefully. Gld you found the rice!