Leek, Mushroom and Lemon Risotto


Risotto de Puerros, Hongos y Limon Around two years ago, when Fabio was new to Vancouver, he wasn’t able to work a typical job, so he began to teach himself to cook, and he did so by trying out all sorts of different recipes every night for our dinner.  This recipe is one of the winners, one of the ones that we return to time and again.

Whenever I have risotto, especially the decadent ones filled with cheese and butter I always think back to the first risotto I tried.  It wasn’t even too many years ago now, yet it was still well before I began to venture into the kitchen myself, and at the same time before I gave much thought to the different components that my food was made of.  I remember an oozing plate of rice that was served family style with a bowl of grated parmesan on the side to add to taste.  It was incredible.  I remember thinking.. This is rice??! It was pretty great to enjoy in ignorance that this was just what happened to slow cooked rice.  The parmesan seemed to be added just at the end as a garnish.  I know better now that most things that taste that delicious are because they are filled with butter and cheese.

It works out well for me then, that this is a meal that Fabio is generally in charge of making, so I can try to have that same experience of having a plate of oozing risotto served with a sprinkling of asiago or parmesan on the side to taste… because it’s really just the rice that tastes this great right!??

In all seriousness…the lemon juice and zest are what take this risotto to the next level.  We always go a little heavy on it at the end as it does seem to lighten up the decadence of the meal.  Enjoy!

The Ingredients 

  • 2 Large Leeks / Puerros
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms / taza de hongos
  • 2 Tbsps Olive oil / cucharadas de aceite de oliva
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic / dientes de ajo
  • 6 Tbsps Butter / cucharadas de mantequilla
  • 1 Large Onion / cebolla
  • 1 3/4 Cups Arborio rice / tazas de arroz Arborio
  • 5 Cups chicken (or veggie) stock / tazas de caldo de pollo ( o de vegetales)
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon / cascara rallada y jugo de 1 limon
  • 1/3  Cup Parmesan cheese / taza de queso parmesan
  • 2/3 Cup Asiago cheese  / taza de queso asiago
  • 1/4 Cup chopped Parsley / taza de perejil cortado

The Instructions

Wash the leeks and chopped them, same with the mushrooms. / Lavar bien los puerros y cortalos en rodajas, tambien cortar los hongos.

  • Heat the oil and cook the garlic for 1 minute, add the leeks, mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until soft and then set aside until later / Calentar el aceite y agregar el ajo, cocinarlo por 1 minutos y despues agregar el puerro, hongos y sal y pimienta al gusto. Cocinarlos por 10 minutos o hasta que esten blandos.
  • In a separate pan add 3 tbsps of butter and cook the onions under medium heat for 5 minutes / En otra olla agregar 3 cucharadas de matequilla y cocinar la cebolla en fuego medio por 5 minutos.

  • Add the arborio rice to the softened onions and cook for 1 minute, add carefully the stock (1 cup at a time) stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed and then adding more stock continually stirring.  This should be take between 20 to 25 minutes and the rice will be tender but not sticky / A la misma olla agregar el arroz y cocinarlo por 1 minuto, gentilmente agrege 1 taza del caldo y bata el arroz para que no se pegue, hacer esto gentilmente taza por taza hasta que el caldo se acabe. Este proceso durara unos 20 a 25 minutos

  • When the stock has been all absorbed and the rice is ready, add the leek and mushroom mixture, butter, lemon zest, 3 tbsps of lemon juice and the Asiago and parmesan cheese.  Once everything is mixed together well, add the parsley and give it one final stir together / Cuando el arroz este listo agrege el puerro, cebolla, el resto de la mantequilla, la cascara y jugo de limon y los dos quesos con el perejil. Mezclar bien.

  • Serve hot with sprigs of parsley and some extra parmesan or asiago on the side to add to taste / Servir caliente y con extra perejil encima si quisiere.


Cuban Sandwich

Dinner, Lunch, Snack

Sandwich Cubano

One of my favorite parts of traveling is getting to eat and try out new flavors and different cuisines.  Since I was really young, me (Fabio) and my family travelled once a year and if we were lucky, twice.  I was even excited several months before our actual date of travel, we usually traveled to warm places with the ocean and beautiful beaches and one of those beautiful places is Miami-Florida. This is where we began many of our vacations and also where I was introduced to delicious Cuban cuisine. 

If you have been to Miami before you probably already know that it has a strong latin population.  One of the largest latin cultures in Miami are the Cubans and their food is just like the Salsa! – colorful and tasty.  Every time I am in Miami, I don’t hesitate to go to a Cuban restaurant or cafe and have Cuban Sandwich. The combination of these simple ingredients make this sandwich a must eat, the marinated pork is perfect combined with the pickles, the cheese and the ham put the final touch.  A perfect side dish for this sandwich is a plate of fries.  I always have my fries with a simple sauce from back home called salsa golf.  Salsa golf is simply mayonaise, ketchup, a touch of mustard and a squeeze of lime juice mixed together.  Simple to put together and perfect for fries…give it a try!    

This recipe will make two large cuban sandwiches

The Ingredients / Los ingredientes

  • 1 pork tenderloin / lomo de cerdo
  • 2 large dinner rolls or mini baguettes / panes o mini baguettes (pan francés)
  • Sliced deli ham / rodajas de jamón
  • Sliced swiss cheese / rodajas de queso suizo
  • Dill pickles / pepinillos
  • Dijon mustard / mostaza Dijon

Pork Tenderloin Marinade / Marinada del lomo de cerdo

  •  5 cloves garlic / diente de ajos
  • 1/2 tsp salt / cucharilla de sal
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns / cucharilla de granos de pimienta negra
  • 1/2 cup orange juice / taza de jugo de naranja
  • juice of one lime / jugo de un limón  verde
  • juice of one lemon / jugo de un limón amarillo
  • 1/2 cup diced onion / tazas de cebolla picada
  • 1 tsp oregano / cucharilla de orégano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil / tazas de aceite de oliva

 The Instructions

  • Mince garlic, grind peppercorns, and mix all the rest of the above marinade ingredients together except for the olive oil / Cortar el ajo, moler la pimienta y mezclar todos los demás ingredientes para el marinado con la excepción del aceite de oliva
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat and whisk in the garlic and orange mixture and then set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes / Calentar el aceite de oliva en una olla a fuego medio alto por algunos minutos, sacar del fuego y agregar mezclando el ajo, jugo de naranja y demás ingredientes del marinado. Dejar a un lado para enfriar por lo menos 30 minutos.
  • Use a fork to pierce the pork tenderloin all over and then pour the marinade (save about a 1/4 cup for later) over the pork, then cover and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. / Con un chuchillo tratar de hacer algunos agujeros en el lomo de cerdo y agregar el marinado ( poner aparte 1/4 tazas para después ) sobre el lomo, cubrilo y ponerlo al refrigerador por lo menos por 2 horas.
  • Use a roasting pan, remove pork from marinade, pour the reserved marinade overtop and roast uncovered in a 375 degree oven until done.  Ours took about 30 minutes.  Baste with juices halfway through cooking. / Colocar el lomo de cerdo con em mariando que había apartado antes (1/4 tazas) al horno a 375 grados hasta que este listo, como unos 30 minutos.
  • Remove from the oven, let rest a few minutes and then slice into medallions. / Sacar del horno, dejar a un lado por algunos minutos y cortarlo en medallones.

  • Slice rolls in half / Cortar los panes a la mitad
  • spread with Dijon (if you like – it does taste great with the pork and swiss cheese however classic Cuban sandwiches don’t normally have sauces, just the natural juices from the pork) / Colocar mostaza Djion (si es que lo deseas – el clásico sandwich cubano no tiene esto)

  • Add a layer of your marinated, sliced pork tenderloin / Agregar el lomo de cerdo cortado

  • Top the Pork with the sliced swiss cheese / agregar encima el queso

  • Top the cheese with about 3-4 slices of deli ham per sandwich / agregar encima 3 o 4 rodajas de jamón

  • Top the ham with sliced pickles / agregar encima los pepinillos
  • Finish the top layer of bread with either mayonnaise or more dijon (if you like) or leave plain / para finalizar puedes poner mayonesa o mostaza a la otra mitad de pan

  • Place sandwiches in the panini grill and close tightly, compressing the sandwich and all its ingredients together well and leave for about 5 minutes, until hot throughout and the cheese is melted. / Colocar el sandwich en el grill , dejar por 5 minutos o hasta que el queso se este derritiendo todo alrededor del sadwich
  • Slice in half and serve / cortar a la mitad y servir