What’s Fresh: February 2015

By: Hannah Linnemeyer

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Although there are many great events happening around Des Moines, Valentine’s Day can be just as romantic spent at home indulging in local food and drinks. We have a few recipes that are sure to impress your significant other.


Red Wine Risotto

This mouth-watering Red Wine Risotto is a great first course for your V-day menu, but can easily sub as the main event. Seek out your favorite Iowa red wine and don’t forget to grab fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano from The Cheese Shop of Des Moines.

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2 cups Beef or Vegetable Stock

1 cup dry red wine – we used a Merlot

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion or shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

2 tbsp unsalted butter

½-1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep it warm at the side of the stove. Melt olive oil and half the butter in a shallow saucepan or casserole, add the onion and garlic with salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft, but not browned. Stir in the rice and sauté it, stirring constantly, until it absorbs the butter, about 2 minutes. Stir in about 1 cup wine and simmer, stirring, until the rice starts to dry, 5-7 minutes. Add a couple of ladlefuls of hot stock and continue simmering, stirring gently but constantly.
  • Continue cooking, stirring all the time and adding more stock in batches. At the end of cooking, the rice should be tender, still slightly al dente (chewy) and creamy from the starch that has begun to leach from the grains. This will take 25 to 35 minutes and don’t hesitate to use plenty of stock.
  • Take the risotto from the heat, add the remaining butter in pieces, and stir it into the rice as it melts. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve the risotto in shallow bowls or on deep plates with a sprinkling of Parmesan. (Recipe adapted from bbcgoodfood.com)


Sirloin Steak in a Red-Wine sauce with Roasted Potatoes

We are fortunate to have so many outstanding beef producers locally. Treat your valentine to a fresh cut of perfectly cooked steak grown here in Iowa.

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2 portions of sirloin steak about 1 inch thick – ours was from Rosmann Family Farms (pictured above)

1 cup of red wine

1-2 lbs of red potatoes

1/2 shallot or onion chopped

2 tbsp of butter

olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 425. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
  • While potatoes are roasting, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over high. After steaks have been at room temp. for 20 minutes, season with salt and pepper, then cook 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare (if pan darkens quickly, reduce heat). Let rest 5 minutes.
  • While steaks are resting, reduce the heat to medium high and add the shallots; saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the flame off and add 1 cup of wine. Turn the flame back on to high, bring to boil and let reduce by half. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Drizzle this sauce over the steak. (Recipe adapted from marthastewart.com).


Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes (recipe from Iowa Girl Eats)

This decadent dessert is best served with a scoop of Picket Fence Creamery Vanilla Ice Cream!

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1/2 cup butter

4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

1 cup + 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, divided

2 whole eggs from your local farmer

2 egg yolks

6 Tablespoons flour

2-4 ramekins or custard cups (find them at Kitchen Collage)

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place butter and baking chocolate into a large microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 1 minute, or until butter is melted, then stir until butter and chocolate are smooth. Add 1 cup powdered sugar then stir until smooth. Add eggs and egg yolks then stir until smooth. Add flour then stir until just combined.
  • Butter 4 custard cups, sprinkle inside with sugar, then place onto a baking sheet. Pour chocolate batter evenly into cups then bake for 12-13 minutes, or until the sides are set but center is still soft (not jiggly.) Let cool for 2 minutes, then invert cakes onto serving plates. Dust with powdered sugar then serve with vanilla ice cream.

*Find most, if not all, of these ingredients at your local grocer- Gateway MarketCampbell’s NutritionIowa Food Co-opWheatsfield Co-op., and Farm Sweet Farm.