Everything is back to normal: the computer has been restored to all its glory, there are 2 dogs sprawled on the office floor taking 'second morning nap', the wall has been repaired and my brain is slightly less frazzled. The only lingering hiccup is an ungodly, screeching feedback noise whenever I turn my music up too loud. I shall be forced to listen to 'The Grateful Dead' and 'Arlo Guthrie' without properly offending mon mari and the neighborhood. The sacrifices I make…..
I do not, however, sacrifice my taste buds and love of comfort food. A week or three ago there was a 'Mac and Cheese' event; a competition, if you will, for the best of this traditional comfort food.
While I love it and admit it's a classic, I prefer a little more complexity (and fewer calories) in my comfort food. I want Risotto.
Sometimes I intentionally buy things for a specific risotto; more often I rummage through the fridge and see what's left. Most often it's a combination.
I love Osso Buco – just never get around to making it. So, I came up with this, instead:
Risotto alla Osso Buco Time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/3 cup dry, white wine
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 medium onion other half for the condimenti
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup (or more) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated This is important! The stuff out of the can will not do these wonderful risottos justice. You will be disappointed. Trust me on this. Don't be tempted…..
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Finely chop onion. In medium sauce pan heat butter; add the onion and sauté until transparent then add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir. (Start condimenti.) When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/2 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup and continue adding 1/2 cup at a time and stirring. Before adding the last 1/4 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just 'al dente' – slightly resistant to the tooth, but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it's shape on a plate. Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately. It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff. The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.
2 slices Prosciutto
6 oz (200 gr) veal scallops
1 stalk celery
1/2 tsp thyme
1/3 cup white wine
1 tbs olive oil
Roughly chop the Prosciutto. Slice the veal scallops into bite-size strips. Chop the onion, carrot, celery and tomato. While risotto is cooking, heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion, celery and carrot and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add Prosciutto and veal and sauté 5 minutes longer. Add tomato and thyme and sauté 5 minutes longer. Add white wine and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering until thickened, then turn off heat, cover and keep warm until needed for risotto.
This makes a generous dinner for two. It doubles easily: double the rice, wine and stock but only increase the Condimenti and Parmesan by about half.
And now, the confession: If there are leftovers I dutifully save them for mon mari's lunch….then eat them for breakfast myself….cold…standing at the fridge….