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Gattina, of Kitchen Unplugged, and who is now living in my other favorite city, Barcelona, has tagged me for the "Four" Meme.
Four places I've lived: Midwestern U.S. (Wisconsin, then Minnesota) and, starting 11 years ago Ireland, 1 year; Andorra 7 years; and, now, France, 3 years.
Four jobs I've had: We'll go for diversity with this one.
My first job: Paper route.
My first job as a pseudo grown-up: Supervisor, Engineering Records, for a heavy equipment manufacturer (backhoes and cranes). I was the only female (other then the secretary) in the 25 person department. (I was a 'token female' a lot in those early years).
My first good job in the 'city': Selling mainframe computers. My background for this job? None. It was my 3rd job in sales (office supplies, used cars). I had learned the standard sales credo well: "If you can't dazzle them with your intelligence, buffalo them with your bullshit."
My last and "best" job: President and CEO of a small (100+ employees) company.
Four favorite places I've been on holiday: Spain: Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla…and Barcelona. There is so much fascinating history in Spain.
Scotland: the Highlands, visiting castles, lochs, walking.
Vienna and Salzburg: the opera, the music, the ambiance…. Mozart, Beethoven.
Italy, the northern part: the food, the food, the coastline, the food.
Hawaii: Paradise. Oops, that's five – oh well, can't count… (I didn't include the countries I've lived in – that would make it endless)
Four favorite foods: Now that's really unfair! Only four? I'll try to do this one right. Four…
Pan-seared Foie Gras
A perfect white peach
Dark chocolate truffles
Hmmmm – I think that could be dinner….
Four places I'd rather be: Since I'm quite happy where I am I'll do that one by time:
Today: Andorra; there's a party going on with all of our old golfing friends. We missed it.
Two weeks: Wisconsin, for Thanksgiving
4 weeks: Salzburg, for the Christmas markets and a bit of Mozart
7 weeks: Paris, for Christmas
Four fantastic bloggers to tag: Arfi, Lindsay, Deb and Maryann
There you have it!
This week's edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, (founded by our multi-talented Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen,) is being brought to you by the always entertaining Expatriate Chef of The Expatriate's Kitchen.
The other herb that is still doing well in my garden, and hopefully will continue all winter, is rosemary.
Rosemary has been used for thousands of year, both as a seasoning and a medicine. It's high in iron, calcium and vitamin B6 and, at one time, was thought to improve the memory. It goes very well with pork and, of course, lamb.
1 piece of lamb for roasting, leg, shoulder, saddle, 1.5 – 2.5 lb, (800-1500 gr) leftovers are planned
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1 19 oz (600gr) can cannellini (white kidney beans)
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbs dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes
2 tbs white wine
2 tbs chicken stock
White Beans: Clean and slice leek. Chop celery, carrot and mince garlic. Drain beans. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add leeks, celery, carrot and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add herbs and beans. Drain tomatoes. Roughly chop tomatoes and add to beans. Cover reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. When lamb is done remove from pan and add the beans to lamb roasting pan along with chicken stock and wine. Stir to loosen the brown bits and combine flavors.
Leg of Lamb: Peel and cut garlic into slivers, 10 – 12 in all. Make slits all over the lamb with the point of a sharp knife. Insert a sliver of garlic into each slit. Sprinkle with rosemary. Place the lamb in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it easily. Roast in 450F (230C) oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400F (200C) and roast for another 25 minutes, or until done to your liking. If the pan juices start to burn add a couple of tbs of hot water. Use a meat thermometer, if you have one and roast to 130F (54C) for rosy or cut and peak. When done, remove the lamb, cover loosely with foil and let rest. Add beans and stock to pan, scraping and stirring with a spatula to get all the browned bits.
To Serve: Spoon beans onto a platter. Slice some of the lamb, arrange on beans, along with the rest of the roast and serve.
You have leftovers? Have I got a dish for you!
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 – 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated (2oz, 60gr)
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Finely chop onion. In medium sauce pan heat butter over medium-high heat. Add 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 the last 1/2 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 1/4 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.
1 – 2 cups cooked lamb cut in bite-size pieces
1 cup leftover white beans
1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
While risotto is cooking, put all ingredients in a small skillet or saucepan. Gently heat through, cover and keep warm until needed for risotto.
Be sure visit The Expatriate's Kitchen on Monday for a recap of the 108th Weekend Herb Blogging!
And remember: Leftovers are our friends!