Sunday, March 28, 2010

London Broil, Roasted Tomato Risotto and Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

So tonight's menu was London Broil on the grill, a Roasted Tomato Risotto and corn on the cob. (Dessert to follow) With our London Broil we grill it in one piece with a dry rub. We leave it pretty rare in the very center but because of how the meat is cut the ends always end up more on the side of medium to well-done. We love using this cut of meat for larger groups of people as it offers something for everyone.

On the side I made a Roasted Tomato Risotto. I found this recipe in one of my new favorite cookbooks: Simple Pleasures by Alfred Portale. This cookbook is AMAZING and we have loved everything we've tried so far. But more about the book later.

I've never actually made a risotto before so I was a tiny bit nervous. I know that the texture is key and if you aren't careful it can get mushy instead of creamy. Luckily this recipe had some great tips worked into the directions and our risotto turned out beautifully! I love anything that is made with all fresh ingredients so when I saw that you first had to roast the tomatoes for the recipe I got excited. White wine, chicken stock, heavy cream, fresh herbs and BACON make this dish absolutely DELICIOUS. There is only 2 ounces of slab bacon in the whole recipe but it adds such a nice depth to the flavor-you really can't leave it out and have it turn out as flavorful.

And for the dessert! Another cookbook that I'm hooked on lately is Food & Wine's Best of the Best Volume 12. These Peanut Butter Crispy Bars come from the cookbook Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. These are pretty much rice crispy treats for grownups. A candied layer of rice crispy cereal, a milk chocolate/peanut butter layer and a top layer of dark chocolate makes for a super rich and delicious treat. And when I say rich, I mean RICH. These are made in an 8 x 8 pan and it's recommended to make 9 servings but I couldn't finish my whole piece...I wanted to but I stopped before I hurt myself :)

One thing that was re-enforced for me in this recipe was that your gut is sometimes just as important as the recipe. I was making the corn syrup/sugar/water mixture (to later mix with the dry cereal for the bottom level) and I had my little candy thermometer all set up and ready to go but the mixture just wasn't getting up to the temperature it was supposed to. I had a feeling I should pull it off because it LOOKED right but I decided since I'd never tried the recipe before I'd stick it out. Well, about two seconds after I finished that thought my mixture burned. In two seconds flat!!! Luckily I had enough corn syrup to make a new batch. This time I kept the candy thermometer just because but when I felt that it was time to pull it off, I pulled it off and it was perfect even though, according to the thermometer, I still had 20 degrees to go.The next two layers were super simple and as long as you use high quality chocolate they turn out amazingly creamy and delicious.

I'll definitely be making these again :)

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