2011/09/08

I did it my way... (Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Risotto, uh Rice...with Spinach)

I know I can't be the only one...


Who takes a look at a recipe. 

Reviews the ingredients. 

Reads through the directions. 

Fall in love with the concept.  

Knowing that you are going to take what you love and execute it the way you want to.  


Not that there is anything wrong with the prescribed method. 

It just isn't "your way". 


Just like "Old Blue Eyes"


I shall confess that once I saw "arborio rice" listed in the ingredients and then read the directions to boil the rice in a pot, etc. I knew that I wasn't going to be a very obedient girl.  I was going to have to do it "my way" - or at least the risotto way (which is probably the Italian way).  (And since it's my birthday weekend - I'm a 9/11 child - I figured I could give myself a "buy" on compliance...)

I find the process of making risotto very soothing. 

Adding, stirring, letting it absorb.  Adding, stirring, letting it absorb.  

Eventually making my way to the same creamy goodness as indicated in the recipe, but on my own terms. 

The creamy rice was served alongside cinnamon crunch chicken.  This was probably one of the best received FFwD meals of all time in our house. 



This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Come check out "what way" all of the other FFwD participants took this dish in...

42 comments:

  1. All roads lead to Rome! Glad it turned out the way it was supposed to. Born on 9/11? Do you celebrate your birthday with a wild party or have to keep it calm?

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  2. Funny thing. After 9/11, I pretty much did my best to ignore my birthday. I am just starting to get back into the spirit of the day. Maybe in another year or two, I will feel less guilty about making it a "party" day :-)

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  3. I agree - this has to be one of the bet FFwD recipes - I will make this again. Funnily enough, I almost didn't make it. That would have been a tragedy. I liked the fact that the recipe was like risotto in taste but way easier.

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  4. I say celebrate! You still deserve a birthday, and enjoying it doesn't diminish your respect/solemnity when thinking about the events of 9/11.

    Your risotto looks great!

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  5. Happy Birthday, Cher! At least you can't say your birthdate is insignificant, albeit for completely different reasons. I liked that you did the rice YOUR WAY (I did too). It tasted great, didn't it? We loved ours!

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  6. Cher - I had the same issue. I struggled with not doing this the same method of risotto. There is this calm, relaxing thing about risotto - and you have a sense of accomplishment when it is done. I felt like I cheated on cooking with this.

    Hope you have a great birthday this year! Happy Birthday fellow French Friday with Dorie friend!

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  7. Did you find the LU cookies for the chicken? or make your own? I've bene looking around, even though I'm not sure it will be well recieved in our house. D not a fan of either cinnamon OR sweets mixed with savories. If I had used rice, I would have done it the same way as you. Can't cook risotto rice, and not amke it risotto style.

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  8. Well happy birthday! That can't be an easy birthday to have, this year in particular, but hopefully you will be able to get back to celebrating it soon.

    I too love risotto and find the process to be very calming. And I think that Dorie was right not to call her dish risotto because it is most definitely not. But I thought it was good all the same. Will probably serve it as a side instead of a main in the future though.

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  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHER!!!
    This was one of our all time favourite as well!
    I am very glad to hear that you are letting go of the guilt.

    Enjoy your day.

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  10. @ Tasty Mayem - I didn't use LU. My grocer carriers their products, just not speculoos. I ended up substituting another thin, ginger cookie that was very much like a speculoo... I just wasn't in the cookie baking kind of mood.

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  11. @ All. Thank you for the birthday wishes :-) Since I am still in "study" mode for my certification exam, I will probably spend the day hitting the books - but, I do plan on doing something in a couple weeks when I get my life back...

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  12. I'm really wishing that I'd made the right recipe this week! Yours looks delicious! I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and that you get to do something besides study!

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  13. Happy Birthday Cher!
    I like that you put the cinnamon crunch chicken with the cheesy rice I think I'll do the same when I make the chicken. The cheesy rice looks great your way and that is exactly the way I would make it, hey- why not??!!

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  14. I'm glad you did this recipe your way! It looks great!

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  15. I thought Dorie's cooking method was was easier than "risotto" and had a similar finish....but I did this my way too. I always microwave my rice. Always. Never burns, never sticks to the pot, is always perfect, takes 20 minutes every time. I just cover the dish, set it on a kitchen towel because it will bubble over, and just like magic it gets done.

    Glad to hear you liked the cinnamon chicken...that is one I am struggling with...a cookie coating? I have visions of it all getting soggy or something. I'll trust you on this one as I cook next week.

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  16. Oh, and Happy Birthday! I'll think of you and have some happy memories as I don't forget the hard things that happened on 911.

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  17. Cher...Happy Birthday to you and you did good job on this cheesy rice! I love the taste of it especially after baking it in green bell peppers :)

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  18. When I first read that you were "a 9/11 child," I thought, "What? She's only 10?" But I quickly recovered.
    I had exactly the same thoughts about the non-risotto method. But I must admit that I loved the way it turned out.
    I was glad to hear a good preview of the chicken, which sounds too sweet to be good.

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  19. Sounds like a good meal - your rice looks great. We are doing the cinnamon chicken tonight and the rice again...glad to know you liked them together! I'm looking forward to dinner even more now :)

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  20. Yummy! I served this with the chicken, too, and it was fab. Hope you have a lovely birthday weekend! :)

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  21. Funny - I am considering doing the opposite of what you did: trying some of my risotto recipes the "French" way. While I generally enjoy making risotto the traditional way, my current lifestyle (i.e., young child underfoot) makes it difficult for me to stand by the stove uninterrupted. Either way, you can't lose with creamy, cheesy rice!

    Happy Birthday!

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  22. I was expecting to make the rice as you did. I bet yours was even creamier! And good to know the chicken was enjoyable, too~

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  23. PS...my sister's birthday is 9-11, too...early birthday wishes!!

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  24. Happy Happy Birthday, have a great day. Your post made me laugh as I thought of you reading the recipe and plotting your own course through it. Enjoy the weekend (hopefully with some nice weather).

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  25. haha! I was so excited at the process of making "risotto" then disappointed when I realized that I wouldnt have to go through that process, but then happily surprised that it took very little time... !! :) and I got mushrooms, cuz I thought I was going to be making it like the risotto...!! :) But it was all very tasty!

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  26. Happy Birthday, Cher! I think one of the great joys of cooking is being able to do it "your way". I agree about the therapeutic effect of making risotto your way, but loved discovering the ease of Dorie's French way on a busy night. Either way, it was delicious.

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  27. Looks great! I was going to serve this with the cinnamon crunch chicken, but it seemed like too much off-white for one meal, so I made them on consecutive nights.

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  28. You certainly can do it your way or any way that you want on your birthday weekend, week, or month! :) Your dish looks so creamy delicious. I think I am ready to tackle the Italian way now, Cher. I hope you have a most wonderful birthday!

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  29. Love that you find making risotto soothing. Makes me want to try it myself. :)

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  30. Happy Birthday!
    I'm sure Dorie would forgive you for making the recipe "your way." After all, even she can't argue with Sinatra!

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  31. Happy Birthday!

    I'm hopeless at making risotto, so am happy to have an alternate. Your dinner sounds fantastic. Good luck with your certification!

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  32. the color of your pot is very pretty. :) glad everyone loved your dinner!! :)

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  33. Love the idea of serving it with Cinnamon crunch chicken, which by the way, I want the recipe for! I changed mine up to - serving it with carnitas so I used a mexican blend of cheese, cilantro, lime, and sour cream. And I made my rice in a rice cooker and oh yeah, I was out of arborio, so I used short grain Japanese. But hey, I did it my way!

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  34. Have a very happy birthday tomorrow, Cher, and I hope you get a little celebration in with your studying. Two of my friends have 9/11 birthdays and it was particularly hard for the first few years for the one who is American. I'm glad you're feeling like you can celebrate again.

    I made the recipe Dorie's way, but your creamy rice looks like it was worth the extra effort, for sure.

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  35. Enjoy your birthday, dear! Each time I see this recipe I want it more and more; your version looks scrumptious!

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  36. Happy birthday! I too did my own way for this. Very smart pairing to recipes together. I shall have to do it next time.

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  37. Happy birthday! We love risotto, always the stand & stir method in our house. I have always avoid making it as a side dish when we have company because it is a time consuming process. But, I would definitely use Dorie's method again for a dinner party.

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  38. Happy Birthday, Cher! My MIL's day is today also, she turns 85! I hate it that those creeps steal our thunder, or try to. I say, let's not let them! We will never forget the ones we lost...

    I really enjoy your blog. Good Job!

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  39. Happy birthday! As you saw on my blog post, I'm with you on the risotto love, and I was so close to doing it 'my way' which is 'your way' as well. Glad you enjoyed it! And the chicken too - that was one of the first things we cooked from AMFT, and we love it. It's now one of my hubby's specialties (he's very good at mixing creme fraiche, cookie crumbs, and chicken).

    :) stacy

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  40. Happy belated birthday, Cher! I should have done like you - and Frank - and just gone through the traditional risotto steps. I do love the mindless stirring every now and then!

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  41. Happy Birthday Cher! Very nice post...your rice looks wonderful! I actually thought of doing the traditional risotto but then I thought I'd stick to the recipe the first time I make it! It did come out very well.

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  42. Yeah I was skeptical about the method too but was pleased to see it actually worked for when you are in a hurry and can't stand over it for an hour. Yours looks amazing! Happy belated!

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