Tag Archives: risotto

Risotto with saffron and cavolo nero

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.
~ May Sarton

Risotto, the making of – in past tense:

Made steaming chicken stock in a deep saucepan with two salty cubes and two cups of water. Chucked in nine forest-green cavolo nero leaves. Left the greens to simmer in the boiling stock for seven minutes, or maybe eight. Took out the leaves and set them aside.

Swirled a pat of butter and a spot of olive oil in a skillet on a flame. Watched the butter and oil sigh and meander around the pan in shimmering golden dribbles. Added in half an onion, diced. Stirred the onion through to fragrant-hood. Added in a cup of arborio rice, a pinch of saffron, two bits of lemon peel, a sprig of rosemary… gave it all a stir.

Added in wine in stages. Added in warm stock in stages. Stirred. Stirred some more. Stirred till my arm felt even heavier than my eyelids.

Chopped the cavolo nero leaves. Added the chopped leaves, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sliver of butter to the rice in the final minute of cooking.

Dished up three portions, complete with salt, pepper and wispy yellow shreds of parmesan cheese.

A good risotto to conclude Risotto Season

Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.
~ Mark Twain

There’re a few dishes that are lovely to cook and to eat, but not in excess – and I am fast learning that risotto is one of them. For instance, I fashion meals with eggs all the time and never tire of them, but risotto… risotto is different. It’s beautiful, elegant and comforting, but it’s absolutely smothering if you have it too often (made the third one this month tonight – oops).

I think both Matt and I were heaving wearily with the weight of risotto after a few spoonfuls of it this evening!

The recipe came from Tessa Kiros’ “Falling Cloudberries”:
#62 Champagne Risotto – Page 297

Tessa Kiros describes it perfectly with the phrase “startling honesty”… that is exactly what it is. The champagne is invisible, seemingly lost in a galaxy of rice, butter, parmesan and shallots – but its aroma penetrates your mind and its flavour arrests your tongue the moment it enters your mouth. It’s a blade of truth, transparent and pure. I do like this dish, and think it is best served in smaller portions as a prelude to seafood or vegetables.

As the risotto bubbled to cooked perfection, I stirred in a whisked egg yolk as suggested in the notes; I think I liked this and will do it again in other risotto dishes in the future.

You’re looking for photographic evidence now, I know. Well, I am sorry I am unable to post any of the pictures I took. I ran them past three people just to be sure I was not the only one who thought them distasteful, and all of them think you will be better off not seeing them… :-/

Tonight, we also had:

Matt’s Juice (version #50-something-at-least? of juices like this)… tonight’s version included baby carrots and beetroot leaves. :-/ Pretty potent.

Monkfish baked with lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper… (wrap the fish up in foil parcels and bake at 180°C for around 20 minutes. Simple).

And now we are drinking stovetop hot chocolate… always a welcome finish to the evening!


PS. Cute is this post on The God of Cake.

Launch into artichokes

Vous au moins, vous ne risquez pas d’être un légume, puisque même un artichaut a du coeur (at least you’ll never be a vegetable — even artichokes have hearts).
~ Amélie

From Tessa Kiros’ “Falling Cloudberries”:
#60 Risotto with Artichokes & Italian Sausage – Page 294

Modifications: I used less ingredients to make it enough risotto for two instead of for four, used warm white wine as well as vegetable broth, and added sliced zucchini.

Verdict: Everything about it was warm, creamy and tasty with the lyrical flavours of thyme, parmesan, vegetable broth and riesling – but I would love to learn how to successfully cook artichokes (interesting first experience cooking them)!

In other news, I finished reading “Notwithstanding” this morning – a smooth, sweet blend of essential truth and creative fiction. I like.

Mushroom risotto

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
~ Dr Seuss

Sweet Char arrived this morning with a big smile on her face and mushrooms hidden in her bag… :-) We spent a jolly two hours preparing lunch, eating and catching up.

Yum, yum, yum.

I know mushrooms don’t sit well with everybody – my male friends, in particular, seem to abhor them (“they taste of death!”, they cry) – but I think their ‘earthy’ taste, or whatever it is I can’t describe – is rather warm, comforting and reassuring. Like a hug or a woolly blanket on a dismal day.

Mushrooms are best enjoyed in the company of people who also like them very much (lest the surrounding facial expressions of Mushroom Disgust put you off). I was lucky to have Char with me today! :-)

This made for a waaaaaaay decadent lunch (what with butter, parmesan, wine and all :-O) – we didn’t need to eat much before feeling very full indeed. So good though!

Thanks Miss Char! For risotto, your friendship and a bright Tuesday morning. :-)

    150g white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
    150g portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
    2.5 cups chicken stock
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
    3/4 cup arborio rice
    1.5 tbsp butter
    white wine (we used a dry riesling)
    olive oil
    shaved parmesan
    black pepper
    Prepare your chicken stock, from scratch if you can – use good stock cubes if you can’t. Set aside in a warm place.
    Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil into a large saucepan, and warm it over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic, fry gently until you can smell it, then stir in the mushrooms, and cook until they are soft (approximately 3 minutes). Remove mushrooms and any liquid, and set aside.
    Lower the heat slightly. Drizzle olive oil into the skillet, add in the rice, and stir it to thinly coat the rice with oil. Add more oil if you need to. Cook it until the rice takes on a pale, golden colour – then add in a splash of wine. Stir it until the wine is fully absorbed. Warm the chicken stock if you need to, then add 1/2 cup stock to the rice, and stir until the stock is absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked al dente. Lower the heat and/or add more stock/water as required along the way (we did both, and our risotto took around 35 minutes to cook today).
    Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the mushrooms and butter. Plate the risotto, then add parmesan and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
    Yields 2 servings (or 4 entrée-sized servings?). Enjoy with a glass of ice-cold riesling!