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I have been losing sleep thinking of what would be the first recipe that I would post. There are so many that I love! Then I came up with risotto. It took me years to attempt this recipe. Why you might ask? Because I thought it was full of cheese ie. fat! Arg! You know what I mean, right? This is the dish you order at a restaurant so that you don’t know how many sticks of butter and how many wheels of parmesan were used to make it. You could blissfully be unaware while enjoying the earthy flavours and creaminess. If you made it at home and found out what was in it, you could never truly devour it at a restaurant because you would be in on the secret.
So the first attempt was made for a dinner party. It was this crazy course meal that my husband and I were attempting, so we thought everyone would just have a small portion – just a taste. Well, we were in for a surprise. I carried the Jamie Oliver recipe book through the local grocery store and grabbed everything we needed. Short grain rice, stock, onion, celery,and of course butter and parmesan cheese. When I got it all home I set forth on the wickedly indulgent dish – or so I thought. It all begins with sautéing the celery and onions in oil for a flavour base. Add the rice and stir while it turns clear and gets coated by the oil. Splash in a couple glassfuls of white wine. (I’m going to just take a side bar here for a sec. I always wondered, why do recipes call for dry white wine? I prefer sweet fruity white wines. Well, I found out in this here recipe. I used a sweet fruity white and the risotto was sickly sweet and rich. Now you know – stick to the dry! )
Back to the recipe…. Wait until the wine is soaked up and then add 2 ladles of warm stock, always stirring, wait for that to soak up and repeat until the stock is all gone. Now I thought, here comes the cheese and butter. I almost wanted to look away. Were we really going to try to clog the arteries of our guests even if this dinner was meant to be endulgent? To my surprise it said add: up to 1/2 cup of parm and 1-2 tbsp of butter. What?! That’s it? Where was the delicious creaminess going to come from? I looked down at my stirring wooden spoon and saw that the risotto was already as creamy as melted cheese. Turns out that the creaminess comes from the slow cooking and stirring of the rice. It is the released starches. This dish is just rice and stock?! I know, I was pleasantly surprised, too. You can add more or less cheese and butter. I’ve even tried it sans both and it was still delicious. I guess there is a reward to cooking at home.
Now it is a fall back for dinner parties all the time. It is a hit with guests and it goes with everything. We’ve done it with slowcooked bison, prosciutto wrapped chicken and fish. We stepped it up for New Year’s Eve and did a champagne risotto and lobster tails – Yum!
Recipe – Jamie Oliver with some adaptations
2 tbsp oil (I prefer canola)
1 onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced
1.5 cups of short grain rice
enough dry white wine to cover the rice (about 2 wine glasses worth)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tps dried rosemary
0.5 cups grated parmesan
1-2 tbsp of butter
Begin with putting the stock on low to medium heat. In a separate pot, sauté the diced onions and celery in the oil until the onions are clear. Add the rice and stir. When the rice is somewhat clear, pour in enough dry white wine to cover the rice. Stir continuously until the wine is absorbed. Spoon one ladleful of warm stock into the rice mixture. Continuously stir until it is the stock is absorbed. Repeat this until there is about 2 ladlefuls of stock left. This is when you add the rosemary and mushrooms. Continue the process until all the stock is absorbed. Remember to continuously stir. Finally, add the parmesan and butter. Salt and pepper to taste of course and voila, a great side to any main.
Welcome lovas, lustas, cravas and tasteas of food! For the past 2 years I have been writing a blog as an Olympic Speed Skater. At first the blog was just about skating, but soon turned into a mish-mash of my interests. The part I liked most was when I posted about some of my favourite recipes. Having to keep my body fueled from training was a great excuse to make incredible tasting grub. That gave me a thought: now that I am retired, how could I pursue my passion for food? The answer is food blogging! This site is for all you Food Lovas out there. I love recipes that turn out high class, but are made of simple ingredients and came together easily. My tastes are all over the map (from travelling the world of course!) so be ready for anything. I would be remiss not to add some wholesome made-by-your-mom recipes too. Finally, I hope you like quotes from TV, music and movies because you can be in on all the inside jokes of this blog (hint: Lova -> lamb shanks -> Will Ferrell). Enjoy!
A food blog coming soon…