"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." --Audrey Hepburn
I went in search of quotes about the color pink and found this instead and felt it was quite fitting in so many ways. If I let myself I would digress into a diatribe that dissects every sentence of that quote and how its applicable to life at the moment, however I wont bore you with all that. Instead, I will get straight to the food:
Tonight after work I was stressing over several different situations, and there is only one thing I want to do when I am stressing! Cook! This recipe turned out...EPIC. It was like summer exploded in your mouth and then had a spontaneous party with your taste buds. The strawberries melded with the balsamic perfectly and the mushrooms added a meatiness that was nice and filling. SA wasn't a huge fan of the red pepper flakes and I'm sure you could leave them out, but I am a firm believer in a little heat with my sweet. Besides, as I said before, I believe in pink! Pink foods are the best!
Strawberry Risotto with Balsamic Mushroom Reduction
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 C. Arborio Rice
3 C. Chicken Stock
1/2 C. Button Mushrooms sliced
1/4 c. Onion finely chopped
1/4 C. Balsamic Vinegar
1 C. Strawberries chopped
2 TBSP salted butter
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper flake
1/4 C. torn Basil
1/3 c Parmesan Cheese (Please use some quality here, folks, none of the fake stuff in the green container!)
In a large skillet heat one Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add Onions and mushrooms. Saute for about a minute or until the mushrooms start to wilt and the onions begin to get translucent. Stir in Balsamic vinegar and reduce heat to low, stirring often for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat chicken stock in a pot on stove on medium heat. Heat one Tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add rice into pan and stir for a minute, coating in olive oil. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Keep the burner just high enough to barely simmer the stock and risotto. You must pay attention, and stir it more than occasionally, but you don't have to be a slave to the stove top.
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add cooked mushrooms and onions, making sure to add any liquid that is left in pan. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm. Once it is done, take it off the burner and stir in butter, Parmesan cheese, torn basil, crushed red pepper flakes and strawberries. Salt to taste.