Risotto with Duck Confit and Beluga Lentils

I'm back…..

Almost.

Still rather jet-lagged.

Still wrapping my mind around stuff and getting used to the new reality.

And absolutely enjoying the brilliant sunshine and warm air that greeted me.  

Spring arrived while I was away. Hyacinths are blooming, tulips are up, fruit trees are blossoming, puppies are digging…. All signs of spring.

It's always interesting visiting the US, especially in an election year.  The vitriol is already flying and I'm comforted to know that my belief that most people don't have a clue as to what they're talking about is still valid. Sadly, this seems especially true of people who profess to know more than the rest of us and manage to broadcast their opinions the furthest.

Mind you, I'm not saying that I know more or better, it's just that I like to actually check my facts before I engage my mouth.  Because I didn't actually have a lot of time to do any fact-checking I did a lot of mouth-clamping.

Now that I think about it…. Keeping my mouth shut is usually best.

I don't have a lot of time to sit and read magazines at home, so I do it when I travel.  My cooking magazines go in the car and my science magazines go in my bag for the plane.

Since I'm a little behind in my reading, you may already know that a cure for HIV is (was) imminent, that all the CSI shows on TV get the arson bit wrong, waste water (sewage) is being recycled for drinking, language is not learned but innate and Einstein's Theory is about to be overturned – or at least given a thorough shake-up.

There is a quote from Carl Sagan, printed in the Editor's note in one of the 'Discover' magazines I read that is appropriate for both the political scene and the science scene:

In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know, that's a really good argument, my position is mistaken', and then they would actually change their minds, and you never hear that old view from them again.  They really do it.  It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful.  But it happens every day.  I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

(Emphasis is mine)

And that, my friends, is all I will say on the topic.

I do want to thank all of you for the thoughts and prayers sent my way over the past two weeks.  It was a difficult time and your care was very much appreciated.

I seem to remember something about another recipe to use up the last of the duck I had for the Duck Confit and Potato Gratin.

If you don't happen to have any duck confit lurking in the fridge, use whatever meat (or none) that appeals.

Risotto with Duck and Lentil
Risotto with Duck Confit and Beluga Lentils

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 onion, chopped
1 tbs butter
3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated 
Condimenti 

Cook lentils (see Condimenti)
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
In medium saucepan heat butter; add onion and sauté until tender.  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 1/3 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.

Condimenti

1/4 black, Beluga lentils or green Lentils du Puy
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large rib celery, chopped
2 cups confit of duck, pulled and roughly cut if needed
2 tsp olive oil

Cook lentils in stock until tender. 
Sauté onion, carrot and celery in oil until until tender, 8 – 10 minutes. Add duck, turn heat to low and keep warm until needed
When lentils are done, drain and add to skillet. 

It's been so long since I cooked, I hope I remember how…. I think we're having boiled fish for dinner.  

Or was that fried pasta….

Mashed celery?

Comments 13

  1. Glad you are home safely after a difficult trip. Aren’t you glad that you are missing all the American politics on TV? Though France is also having elections, they don’t get this crazy do they. I am sure your beautiful dogs, and husband, were all happy to see you home. Susan

  2. Welcome back! The new reality will take a long time to adjust to, but that’s normal. Missing the loved one goes on for far longer than we expect; again, normal. Give yourself time and permission to grieve.
    And thanks for the recipe – I’m especially looking forward to hearing about the progress in the house and the regression in the puppies while you were away! 😀

  3. Welcome home and welcome back to blogland – I have been looking out for your return and I am glad you are back safely and now I hope you can take some time for your self – love and thoughts to you and pats for the puppies !!

  4. Glad you are back Kate and life is getting back to some resemblance of normal. I have never had beluga lentils so just another thing to watch out for!

  5. Please accept my condolences, Katie. I’m sure the trip was a difficult one.
    I’m happy to hear that you returned to brighter, spring like weather and thank you for sharing this recipe. It is just the kind of thing I love.
    And that quote is PERFECT.

  6. Home again yes is always best and I’m meaning that for both ways of this last trip.
    Check facts … oh my if only a few would do that just a few times, things might seem very different. Then if only a few (I see a glimmer in your quote) could take a step back and have just a tad bit of allowance for a different view, mighten it be we could all be more respectful and tolerant. I can not understand extreme positions that have no allowance for something different. Yes, mouth shut, maybe I’ve said too much already.
    At any rate: Happy Spring.

  7. happyshangbo – glad you like it – great one-pot meal.
    Susan, ah…. American politics….. most interesting. I think I prefer to follow from afar 😉 Yes, happy to be home.
    Linda, thanks… We all go through it – doesn’t make it easier….
    Thanks, Kathy…
    Meredith, I’d share the duck fat if you lived closer (too much for us) LOL
    Zoomie, thanks – intellectually I know this; emotionally is a whole different world. Puppies are very comforting (Ha)
    Elizabeth, a new meaning to comfort food…. thanks, sweetie XO back at ya
    manningroad,it’s good to be back – I’ll give big hugs to the puppies (they can handle it)
    Thanks, Loulou, it’s good to be home…. and I love that quote, esp. after 2 weeks of American ‘news’.
    Tanna, I’m always amazed at what’s on US news shows – It takes me awhile to remember that most of them aren’t really news but entertainment…. And outrageous entertains. Just too bad that some people think it’s fact and not fiction they’re spouting…. Happy spring to you!

  8. Val, thanks… The beluga lentils are smaller then the du Puy, black and hold their shape really well. I just love lentils of all types

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