Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Family Favorites for IHCC: Cheddar Cheese Risotto and Marshmallow Crispy Squares

This week's pick for I Heart Cooking Clubs is family favorites by Nigella Lawson. I spent a lot of time trying to decide what to make. The truth is, my family rarely eats the same thing for dinner. My son, Jackson, is allergic to so many things: wheat; eggs; soy; all nuts, beans and legumes; beef; turkey; red dye and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. He does LOVE cheese, lots of it! He also eats a lot of rice, potatoes, milk and chicken. I was ecstatic to find two Nigella recipes that Jackson could eat. I knew these two choices would make everyone happy! After all, who wouldn't like cheddar cheese risotto and Nigella's version of Rice Crispy Treats?

Cheddar Cheese Risotto - Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter/side dish
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 baby leeks or 2 fat scallions, finely sliced
1-1/2 cups risotto rice
1/2 cup white win
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 cups hot vegetable stock
1 cup chopped Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Melt the butter and oil in a medium-sized pan and cook the sliced baby leeks or scallions until softened. Add the risotto rice and keep stirring for a minute or so, then turn up the heat and add the wine and mustard, stirring until the wine is absorbed. Start ladling in the hot stock, letting each ladleful become absorbed as you stir before adding the next one. Stir and ladle until the rice is al dente, about 18 minutes, then add the cheese, stirring it into the rice until it melts. Take the pan straight off the heat, still stirring as you do, and then spoon into warmed dishes, sprinkling with some of the chopped chives.

Marshmallow Crispy Squares - Nigella Express, Nigella Lawson
Makes 24 squares
3 tablespoons butter
6 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal
edible glitter or sprinkles, optional

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and cook gently until they are completely melted and blended, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and immediately add the cereal, mixing lightly until well coated. Press the mixture into a greased 13 x 9-inch pan; you may have to put on latex gloves and press it down into the corners, as it will be very sticky. Flatten the top and then sprinkle over the edible glitter or sprinkles if so inclined. Let the marshmallow crispy squares cool completely in the pan and then cut them into 24 squares.

Notes/Results: The family and I enjoyed both recipes tremendously. I imagine that Nigella uses a wonderful English Cheddar in her version of Cheddar Cheese Risotto. However, even with my Kraft Cheddar, this risotto was heaven! We have had many versions of risotto, never with cheddar cheese. I loved the combination of the cheddar cheese and the chives. I will be making this risotto again, especially since I almost always have the ingredients on hand.. A great family dish. Nigella's marsmallow crispy treats taste just like other rice crispy treats, delicious! Her version calls for edible glitter or sprinkles. I topped mine with some orange sugar and sprinkles, in favor of the upcoming Halloween season. Can you believe that I've never made rice crispy treats myself? Well, they were super duper easy and delicious! Both my daughter and son gobbled them up and they will be gone in no time. My son was so excited to have a rice crispy treat! He kept telling me "I can eat it. It's for me." Here is a picture of Jackson, with his mouthful, eating his marshmallow crispy treats.
Head on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs throughout the week to see what everyone else has made. There are bound to be some great recipes for your family too!


  1. Oh my goodness--your little guy is adorable! Love the red hair--so cute! And I love anything with marshmallows :-) Especially smores!

  2. OMG, your son is precious!!! Oh, and the cheddar cheese risotto looks yummy.

  3. Awesome!! This risotto looks so creamy and cheesey delicious! Great choice in things to make for the family...and who doesn't love rice krispy treats :D

  4. Hi!
    Risotto--- I mean I love them-- and hate them. Cos I can't eat them :( The last time I ate one was in Corsica, a year and a half back-- and since then its been this looking and drooling :)

  5. The look on Jackson's face is priceless! It's always nice to cook for someone who really enjoys it! Risotto is on my "gotta try it someday" list ... your post has inspired me to get it crossed off as completed. Thanks ... Debbie

  6. Yay for treats your little guy can eat! So glad Nigella delivered for you. Great family fare!

  7. Both recipes sound great! Risotto with cheese. What could be better? Your son is sooooo cute!

  8. Jackson looks like a dolly :).
    I once made rice krispy squares, it took me forever to get the pot clean!

  9. i don't think i've ever had risotto with cheddar cheese. i bet this would be good with mushrooms. i might try it tonight.

  10. Doesn't it just make your heart melt when the kids get to have something that's safe AND you made it? I know mine does.

    I've had plenty of versions of risotto but never with cheddar. Sounds really good.

  11. That risotto especially looks amazingly delicious. Great choices for Family Favorites!

  12. First of all, Jackson is darling. Secondly, cheddar cheese!!!! in a risotta??? Inspired! I adore any kind of risotta. Have you ever tried making it in the microwave? It's so easy and tastes great. No, not as good as standing and stirring...but almost.

  13. the risotto looks out of this world, as do the crispy treats, two of my faves!

  14. I looked ta the rice krispy recipe too! That would be funny of we'd made the same thing. The risotto sounds great, gotta try that. I am loving your son's gorgeous hair. I pay good money to make mine that color :D

  15. Cheesy risotto sounds divine, and Rice Krispy treats are one of my favorite treats! Great picks for this week's IHCC. Your son is a cutie!


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