Note To Readers

August 11, 2011

As I have already announced, I am now bloggeing at Freethoughtblogges. RSS feed is here.

While I will be cross-posting some of my stuff here, if you want to access all of my outstanding material, you should switch over to following me there.

Lunch

August 10, 2011

Lunch

August 9, 2011

(Cross-Posted from my Freethoughtblogs blogge.)

In this risotto recipe, I have used a different variety of Italian short-grain rice. Vialone Nano has a slightly smaller grain than arborio or carnaroli, and it releases slightly less starch into the risotto. It also will absorb less additional liquid after stopping the cooking process, so you want the “soupiness” versus “creaminess” of the final product to be pretty much how you like it when you turn off the heat. This is in contrast to arborio or carnaroli, to which you can add a cup full of additional broth after the cooking process ends to make the final product creamier.

INGREDIENTS

two cups vialone nano rice
one pound raw shrimp
olive oil
one quart homemade fish stock (dilute 1:1 with water to make two quarts broth)
one cup diced onion
one clove diced garlic
salt and pepper
one large pinch saffron threads
one splash oude genever
one and one half cups dry white wine
one cup grated parmigiano reggiano
two tablespoons butter
two tablespoons chopped flat parsley (I forgot to buy some)

Cut the shrimp into thirds and sautee in the risotto pan over medium heat until just barely finished cooking, with some fresh-ground black pepper. Remove from the pan.

This is a strategic choice to cook the shrimp in the risotto pan and reserve. The other option is to wait until the risotto is almost done, and then cook the shrimp in a separate pan. There are costs and benefits to each strategy.

If you pre-cook the shrimp in the risotto pan, then you benefit from the flavors of the shrimp that are left in the pan and from the caramelization of the left-behind shrimp protein as you sautee the onions and garlic. The costs are that the shrimp will have sat for a while before going in to the risotto as opposed to being hot out of their own pan, and that the carmelized shrimp protein darkens the color of the final risotto. Personally, I fucken love the flavor that the caramelized shrimp protein adds to the final product, so I go this route.

Sautee the onions on medium-low until they are starting to get translucent, and then add the garlic. Continue to sautee until the garlic is soft. The idea is to cook on a low enough flame that you are nicely softening the onions and garlic and releasing their flavors, but without caramelizing them. The brown on the bottom of the pan is the caramelizing shrimp protein (yum).

Add the rice, and continue to sautee until the rice grains are coated with oil and you start to smell toasty rice, about five minutes.

Deglaze with a nice splash of oude genever, or other booze aged in oaken casks (bourbon or scotch or tequila), and wine. And throw in the saffron threads, crushing them in your fingers.

Cook the risotto in the usual way, ladling in already-simmering broth, allowing to be absorbed while stirring, and so forth. Be sure to turn the heat up to medium, so that the cooking process will take less than twenty minutes. Remember that the rice grains will continue to cook even after you turn off the heat, so stop the cooking process when it is still less cooked than you ultimately desire. PhysioWife and I like to still have a tiny bit of crunch in the center of the grain, so I stop the cooking pretty early.

After turning the heat off, add the shrimp, butter, cheese (and chopped italian parsley, which I forgot to buy). Stir thoroughly to incorporate, cover, and allow to rest for five minutes.

EATTE ITTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Cross-posted from Freethoughtblogges.)

My existing readers know that I love to blogge about shitte I cooke. For new readers here at freethoughtblogs, I frequently post pictures and recipes of shitte I cooke, and I fucken love making and eating risotto. We have some server issues right now, but once they are resolved, I will be importing my entire archive from my WordPress.com blogge, which includes dozens and dozens of cooking posts.

All of my recipes are totally improvisational, riffing off of my previous meals or recipes I’ve seen in magazines or on teeve. Sausage risotto is one of my favorites, as–unlike more traditional meat ragus–it doesn’t require long simmering of the meat to tenderize it. And the pecorino di moliterno–less salty and pungent than pecorino romano–is a very nice change from the more typical parmigiano reggiano.

INGREDIENTS

two cups carnaroli rice
olive oil
salt and pepper
one cup diced onion
half cup diced carrot
half cup diced celery
one quart chicken (or veal) stock, diluted 1:1 with water (to make two quarts total)
one splash oude genever (or other aromatic booze)
half bottle dry white wine
two tablespoons butter
one cup grated pecorino di moliterno
two sweet italian sausages
two hot italian sausages
three tablespoons chopped italian parsley

Heat some olive oil to medium-low, and toss in the diced vegetables.

Sautee until the carrots are soft, adding fresh-ground black pepper about halfway through.

Remove the sausages from the casing and put in the pan.

Sautee until the sausage is fully cooked, breaking it up as well as possible with the wooden spoon as you cook.

Add the rice, and continue to sautee until the rice is well-coated with oil and starting to smell toasty, about four or five minutes.

Deglaze with genever and wine, and turn up heat to boil off all the alcohol.

Turn down the heat to medium/medium-low and cook in the usual way, repeatedly adding in ladles of already-simmering broth and stirring until absorbed. The key parameter here is to get the temperature so that the rice reaches molto al dente (still a little crunch in the middle) in about sixteen or seventeen minutes. At that point, turn off the heat.

And note that the rice will continue to cook even after the heat is off, so you need to turn off the heat when the rice is still less cooked than you will prefer for the final product. In Tuscany, risotto is typically served with still a little bit of crunch in the center of rice grains. Also, note that the rice will continue to absord liquid after the heat goes off (carnaroli rice a lot, vialone nano rice less so), so you will also want it soupier than the desired final product. (You can add more broth even after the risotto has finished resting–see below–if you want it soupier.)

Finally, note that while you can salt the risotto to taste at this point–after it has incorporated the salt from the sausage and broth–more salt will come from the cheese and butter (if it is salted butter).

Add the cheese, butter, and parsley, and stir well to incorporate. Then cover the pot and allow the risotto to rest for about five minutes.

Eat the motherfucke out of itte!

Effective today, I am moving my blogge to the new freethoughtblogs network. This new network has been founded by Ed Brayton of Dispatches From The Culture Wars, and the founding bloggers include Ed, PZ Myers of Pharyngula, The Digital Cuttlefish, Chris Rodda, and Darksyde.

My plan as of now is to cross-post everything both here and there. And I don’t plan on altering my content pattern at all.

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