First, a disclaimer: I was tending the stove; keeping the home fires burning and all that rot. It's been warm enough that we only light it in the evenings.
As usual, I lit the fire starter (little cubes of fuel), arranged a few logs and left it.
I'd forgotten that I'd cleaned it out this morning. Fires do not like a clean stove…. They like a nice thick bed of ash.
It went out.
I went to throw another log on and there was no fire.
I lit another fire starter in my hand (which, in itself, is kind of stupid) and dropped it in between two logs.
It went out.
I couldn't see it so a grabbed one of the logs to move it slightly to get a match in.
I grabbed it with my fingers.
My eyes did not see flames therefore there were none.
But there were glowing coals on the inside of the log…. that I grabbed.
It's just fingertip burns (that hurt like hell).
I just wanted to warn you in case my typing is worse than usual.
That's my excuse!
You, on the other hand, have no excuse not to try this risotto.
My long time readers know that I love risotto.
They also know that it's easy to make, not high in fat or calories and you don't have to stir constantly.
I occasionally get a bit carried away with adding things in – as I did here.
This combines three of my favorite foods: lentils, spinach and risotto.
It was fantastic!
For a vegetarian (or Lenten) version, omit the Prosciutto and use vegetable stock.
Risotto with Lentils and Spinach for two
2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 leek other half for the condimenti
1 tbs butter
3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Cook lentils (see Condimenti)
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Trim leek, cut in half the long way and thinly slice. In medium saucepan heat butter; add 1/2 of the leek and sauté until tender. Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir.
When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before you add the last 1/3 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 tbs 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.
1/4 small, green Lentils du Puy
1 cup beef stock
4oz (120gr) fresh spinach
4oz (120gr) Prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 tsp olive oil
Cook lentils in beef stock until tender.
Chop shallots and Prosciutto. Prepare spinach, tearing big leaves.
Sauté leeks, shallots in oil until until tender, 6 – 8 minutes. Add Prosciutto and sauté 5 minutes longer. Turn heat to low and keep warm until needed
When lentils are done, drain and add to skillet Just before adding condimenti to risotto, add spinach to skillet and cover briefly – just to start wilting.
It was pretty, too.
We ate the whole thing…
My fingers feel better – thanks for asking…..