My husband was the first person to introduce me to the magic of the crockpot, and it is a staple tool in our house. We had a crockpot before we had cutlery (er…silverware). The crockpot also has its downfalls – lots of recipes can turn into long-simmered mush with indiscriminate flavor. One of the best crockpot recipe books I’ve found is Williams Sonoma’s The New Slow Cooker. I received this as a bridal shower gift, and despite the Washington, DC summer heat, its pages already feature cooking stains.
A Sunday at home means a more leisurely meal, and unlike work days, I can tinker around with recipes in the 3-4 hour timeframe, as opposed to the 7-9. This Sunday’s plan was Polenta and Swiss Chard. As it turns out, neither Trader Joe’s nor Safeway carry ground polenta, and not so much on the Swiss Chard, either. New plan: Risotto with Bitter Greens.
- 3 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine
- chopped onion
- salt, pepper
- parmesan cheese
- 1/2 block fontina cheese, cut into blocks
Sticking all the ingredients (minus the cheese!) in the crockpot, I set it on high for 2.5 hours and let it go, stirring a few times. It was done at about 2 hours…and a little salty, even for my taste. I added some water to dilute the salt taste, folded in the cheese and topped with the Swiss Chard/Bitter Greens, below.
Swiss Chard (aka Bitter Greens)
- full bag of greens
- cherry tomatoes
- olive oil
- chopped onion
After heating the olive oil and sauteeing the onions, I added the fresh ingredients and let them cook down. Served over the risotto.
Not a meal to make if your pants are feeling a little tight – that risotto sits in your stomach (and the cheese doesn’t help). The risotto comes out a little gummy, and there is far more risotto than vegetables. A good meal from the lunch leftover perspective. All in all, something to tweak for the future.