Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Love Risotto AND A Good Day's Work

So. Risotto. Is there a reason you're NOT eating risotto for dinner a couple times a month? If it's because you don't know how, here: let Marcella teach you. That's really all you need. Recipes? Psshhh. Risotto is a method, homeboy. And it goes a little something like this:

Take some fat. Heat it in a pan. Add a few aromatics. Throw in some long-cooking veggies if you like. Sizzle them for a little bit. Meanwhile, boil some water or broth in another pan. Add some arborio or carnaroli rice to the pan with the fat and aromatics. Stir it around until the edges start to look translucent. Don't let it brown. Add a splash of white wine. Add the water or broth a half-cup or so at a time, stirring constantly, until each batch is absorbed. When the rice is al dente, taste, adjust seasoning, and add quick-cooking veggies and a few flavor enhancers. Butter. Cream. Cheese. The texture should be creamy and loose, but not soupy. Add an egg yolk or two off the heat if it tickles your fancy.

Does that sound easy enough? Think of the variations.

Cajun Risotto
Fat: bacon grease
Aromatics: onions, peppers (capsicums), garlic, bay leaf
Long-cooking veg: none
Liquid: water or chicken broth
Quick-cooking veg: peas
Flavor enhancers: cream, very aged gouda
Bonuses: andouille sausage, shrimp

Springtime Farmers Market Haul Risotto
Fat: olive oil
Aromatics: onions, garlic
Long-cooking veg: morels
Liquid: H20
Quick-cooking veg: shredded zucchini, spring onions
Flavor enhancers: butter, parmigiano reggiano, egg yolk


Also, a good day's work would be... the 7 half-pints and two pints of strawberry-rhubarb jam and 4 half-pints of serviceberry-raspberry jam. Have I mentioned that I love canning? Because I do. It's probably my favorite all-time kitchen activity. Narrowly above baking bread, but there just the same.


Bron said...

Mmm, lovely!

I would add though, that you can get over zealous with the stirring. Perhaps it's a personality thing... Perhaps it depends on the rice, but I've found it's better if I stir it frequently and lightly but not with mechanical constancy :)

Laura said...

LOL, Bron! Yes, I'm not an obsessive stirrer. I stir pretty often but I'm not afraid to go do something else for a minute while it's bubbling away. I do, however, think stirring a LOT at the end is VERY important!

Bron said...

obsessive - yes that was the word I was looking for! Then you do tend to end up with really porridgey risotto.

DanaMichelle said...

Where do you get all these yummy fruits? Are they cheap??

Christi Lee said...

I love the risotto lesson article! I've still never seen any of Julia's shows... Is this Marcella the same as Julia Child? or is this lady different? they sound like they have the same spunk.