The money is running out and because I made diddly squat at as a line cook, I barely make anything from unemployment, just enough to pay my phone bill, car payment and insurance. And you want to know the most disheartening thing is? Matt makes more money from unemployment than I do working 60 hours a week as a line cook.
So it has been an interesting past two months, complete with breakdowns and serious contemplation periods of what to do with my life (graduate school? buckle down and get a corporate job? suck it up and get paid $10/hr to work as an overworked/underpaid line cook at a chain restaurant and never see my friends or family?). All that fun stuff plus beach time, bicycling, trips to the library, quality time with Hank and George and LOTS of cooking.
As you can tell, I don't have a very big grocery budget, so many of the dishes I cook now rely on pantry staples. Risotto is a good budget dinner because you can pretty much throw anything in there: from frozen vegetables to last night's take out dinner, risotto is very versatile. I always have frozen peas and some chicken broth in my pantry so pea risotto was the obvious dinner choice. I also had some goat cheese and some cherry tomatoes leftover from the Beach Blanket Blackout Bingo Birthday Bash so I just threw that in as well. The result was a delicious, healthy dinner for less than $6 for the total meal!
TBC Broke as a Joke Risotto
1/2 medium onion, chopped, about 1/3 cup
1 TBSP olive oil or butter
3/4 cup Arborio rice
32 oz. carton of low sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup frozen peas
3 oz. goat cheese
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Place the chicken broth and crushed garlic clove in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Set aside. Meanwhile, add butter or oil to saute pan over medium heat. Wait until it starts to foam and then add the onion. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the Arborio rice and saute the rice until translucent, about 2 minutes. Ladle some of the warmed chicken broth into the rice, stirring until liquid has evaporated. Continue adding liquid in stages, constantly stirring. Wait until the liquid has absorbed before adding more. When the rice is creamy and you have used all of the chicken broth, check the seasonings. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the frozen peas and the goat cheese and stir to melt the goat cheese and to heat the peas. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and top with Parmesan cheese.
Please don't forget to vote for Hank and George in the Cutest Dog Contest. We could win a million dollars!