Right now I am in Effingham, IL at a transition conference and got to go to the most awesome restaurant. It is called the Firefly Grill. This is the second day I've been here and thought that I was stuck with the restaurants surrounding the Walmart (along with the convention center which seems as if it is in the Walmart parking lot). But, thanks to Yelp, I found the restaurant just behind some trees across the street. It has been named the 2nd best eco-friendly restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit. I didn't know about its accolades, or the fact that it is local food, until I walked in with my local food book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. I felt like a bit of a dork reading about local food and then eating it (the menu says where each dish came from) but the bangers and mash were awesome (expensive, but really good). Unfortunately most of the things I wanted to try had gluten and I had to turn away the bread that looked delectable, but it was great.
Another thing that is great.... is sweet potato risotto! I had extra sweet potatoes and I was thinking of what I could do with them, and then thought of the idea of sweet potato rissoto. You would think there would be more recipes out there, but the best one I could find was from Betty Crocker. Now I usualy like stronger seasoned dishes, and not the kind that are usually in the Betty Crocker cookbook, but this dish was sooooooo good. The rosemary really stood out with the sweet potato and I am definitely making this for my Aunt's thanksgiving (with water instead of chicken broth) so that my mom can enjoy vegetarian fare and still feel festive.
Sweet Potato Risotto
1/4 cup of white wine
1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of uncooked Arborio rice
3 small mashed roasted sweet potatoes (around 1/2 cup)
4 cups or more of chicken broth
Parmesan cheese to taste
1/2 tsp of chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
Salt to taste
Roast your sweet potatoes. I put them in the oven at 450 degrees for around 35 to 45 minutes until they are soft. Take them out and mash them.
Heat olive oil in saucepan and cook onion and garlic 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Stir in rice and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add in white wine and stir until soaked in. Stir in mashed sweet potatoes and 1/2 cup of the broth. (I know that people usually heat the broth on the side, and most of the time I do too, but it worked without using the extra pans so it is up to you). Cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding in broth 1/2 cup at a time, when the rice has soaked in the previous additions, and stop when the rice is just tender. Add in the cheese, rosemary, nutmeg and salt and enjoy!