Just what I had in the fridge tonight. Makes 3 servings, cause that’s the number of peeps in my family.

approximately 2 cups leftover risotto
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs
butter
8oz mushrooms (halved or quartered)
1 bundle asparagus cut up
1/2 onion chopped
4oz raclette cheese (or other melting cheese with a strong flavor)

Mix risotto, eggs, and bread crumbs together. Melt a pat of butter in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Dallop 1/3 of the risotto mixtuture into the pan, and spread into a thin, round shape. Fry until browned - about 3-4 minutes. Flip with a wide spatula, and cook for a few more minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining 2 pancakes adding butter as needed.

While the risotto pancakes are cooking, saute the onions in olive oil for a minute or two, add asparagus, and cook until just starting to soften. Add mushrooms to the pan, and saute for 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat. I had a little bit of leftover roast pork, which I chopped up and added just before the mushrooms were done, and I think most any meat would be good to add to this. Remember, this is a recipe for leftovers.

Top each pancake with the asparagus and mushrooms. Pile on the cheese, and place in a hot oven, or like I have at home, an upper oven with a toast setting, until the cheese is melted. I garnished this with a sprinkling of sage leaves that I roughly chopped, and fried in the butter that remained in the pan that I used to fry the pancakes.

4 chicken thighs
4 chicken legs
1 carrot
1 onion
2 celery stalks, trimmed
1 small head garlic
3 fresh sage leaves minced
1 small sprig rosemary minced
3 sprigs thyme leaves removed
2 bay leaves
1/2 – 1 cup white wine
1 qt mushrooms (halved or quartered, depending on size)
8 cups hot chicken broth (or with base and water)
2 cups risotto
¾ cup cream
1 T chopped marjoram
¼ cup sliced green onion
2 heads broccoli
½ lemon in wedges

Get a helper, 1 or 2 bottles of wine, and some tunes.

Generously season chicken with salt and pepper, and brown in hot oil, in two batches in a dutch oven until just browned. Remove chicken, and set aside. Drain excess fat and sauté 2/3 of the onion, carrot, celery, garlic until soft. Add bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté for a minute more. Add wine and reduce until only a few tablespoons remain of the liquid, then return the chicken to the pot, skin side up. Add 1 ½ - 2 cups of the chicken broth; just enough to bring the liquid about ½ the way up the sides of the chicken. Cover loosely, and simmer gently, for 25 minutes, adding the mushrooms after 12 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, put a sheet pan in the oven and heat to 500 F. Cut the broccoli heads into quarters or sixths and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the oven reaches temp, very quickly arrange the broccoli on the pan, cut side down. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 12-18 minutes. The broccoli should be very toasty on the cut side when done, almost burned. Transfer to a bowl, add the lemon wedges, and cover to keep warm.

With your 3rd and 4th arm, while the chicken cooks, make the risotto. Sauté the remaining onions, carrots, celery, garlic in 2 T olive oil until soft. Stir in ½ t salt and ½ t pepper, add risotto, and stir over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes, but don’t brown the risotto. Add ½ - 1 cup of the hot broth, and stir frequently until the liquid is almost absorbed. Continue adding broth a little at a time, cooking until absorbed, then adding a little more, until the rice is tender and sticky, using most, if not all the broth. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Cover to keep warm.

Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and cover with foil. Reduce remaining liquid to 1-2 cups. Remove from heat, and add a ladle full of the hot liquid to the cream while stirring to temper. Add the cream, marjoram, and green onions to the pot, Reduce the sauce to about ½ volume over low heat, stirring occasionally. Pore sauce over chicken. Serve.

Well, I’m half way though my 6 month sabbatical and I’ve not been at the computer much, but I have been cooking up some tasty food down here in North Carolina.

Not having to go into an office job during the day allows the family and I to have nice big mid-day dinners and lighter evening meals.

Here’s a sampling of what’s been on the table here:

  • Grillades and Grits
  • Baked Sea Trout (caught by me!)
  • Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy
  • Szechuan Style Eggplant
  • Chicken Gumbo (with fresh okra from Dub’s garden)
  • Butter Beans with Country Ham
  • Bluefish Fishcakes
  • Baked Ham, Fried Apples, Acorn Squash and Cornbread
  • Corn, Okra and Tomatoes

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