25. November 2011

News from the test kitchen

Lately, I have come to develop a very strange liking of a particular food, the first sign of me being properly pregnant. Or at least that is what people want to hear, that pregnant ladies eat nothing but deep-fried Snickers (which I do unpregnant as well), butter-cream cake with pickles or French fries with strawberry jam. Until lately, I had nothing to confess.

Then the other day, something really strange happened. I made a risotto. Voluntarily.

Normally, I will always pick meat over fish, potatoes over rice, sweet over sour. But while I was thinking about what to cook, it occured to me that a risotto would be nice. I had some green beans to make and the rest just happened to happen. I ended up with a mushroom-curry-risotto with green beans and we decided that we'll even make that again one day. And since that night, risotto has come to my mind regularly when I think about food. A strange world it is indeed.

I think it all started some weeks ago, when an Italian colleague and I were sitting in the canteen and she confessed that Verona is rather a risotto part of Italy and not the standard pasta type of region. She enthused about coming home after work, opening a bottle of wine, throwing some rice and whatever else there is in the fridge into a pan and slowly sinking into calling it a day.

I could relate to the opening of a bottle part, but the rest? Rice? Especially since our favorite rice brand packs the risotto rice into an orange bag? ORANGE? Why would I pick that over the pink Basmati or the green wild rice? I don't know.

But nowadays, that happens all the time:

I have to admit that it is a really easy food choice. Just fry some chopped up onions in olive oil, add about 75 gr risotto rice per person and fry that, too, until the rice becomes "glassy." Then gradually add about 125 ml fluid (water, some of that wine or broth) and let it cook slowly until the rice has soaked up all the fluid. That gives you about 25 minutes to throw in everything that comes to your mind.

Today I added carrots, chorrizo and garlic. Because we had to save a lot of garlic from going bad the other day by peeling it and storing it in oil in a jar in the fridge. Keeps it perfect for weeks and you never need to worry about hands stinking like a garlic press for the rest of the night. Just take out as many cloves as you need and either cut or press them. Ready, steady, go. Thank you, hawaiipulli, for peeling two entire garlic bulb and saving the cloves from drying to death.

Well, does that look nice or what? And NO, I did not pick an orange vegetable to illustrate the orange-y-ness of it all... By the way, it is perfect for putting it in a bowl, placing yourself in front of the TV, bowl on protruding belly, and watching whichever soap you are into right now.

Guten Appetit!

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