More Recipe Madness


So after I discovered that actually looking at a recipe I thought I knew by heart can make a slight wee bit of difference in how the finished dish is, (this is about those hard as brick cookies I discussed in a previous post and how nice they were after I discovered that indeed I had been using a tad too much flour and instead made them the right way….)….

…I decided to look at my signature dish, risotto. I was taught how to make this yummy, labor-intensive food by my friend Philip, too long ago to remember when. And obviously too long ago to remember what really went into a good-tasting risotto.

So I got out the cookbook Phil had given me at the time – “ha ha,” I had thought, “I can do this without a recipe” – which is kind of my approach to making quilts sometime or really most of life – which is perhaps, I’m guessing here, why my quilts never come out the way everyone else’s do….but that works with quilts….

….but it sure doesn’t work with food. Anyway I looked at the cookbook and discovered I had indeed forgotten a small ingredient – the homemade broth. This might be, I mused, why my risotto has been a little dull for the past several years. Instead of using 5 cups of homemade broth, I have been using 5 cups of water. Hmmm.

So I made a broth, from scratch  (stupid expression when I actually used two roasted chicken carcasses and lots of veggies and herbs) on the day I wanted to make the risotto. and THEN  I reread the cookbook and noted that the broth has to sit overnight so the fat will congeal on the top and one can remove it. Ah…okay, so I postponed the risotto a day.

The next day I got out all the ingredients – the right ones this time – and set up everything and got the sauce (so to speak) simmering (and incidentally discovered that if you pay attention and trust the process, you don’t have to keep adding butter and oil so that each teeny piece of veggie is covered in oil and you get sick after the fact from too much oil…no indeed, the veggies et al form their own sauce, who knew?)

…and the rice was in the pot getting coated with oil and butter and I checked the recipe again (a record number of checks for me) and noted that the broth needs to be simmering too. And instead I had just taken it out of the refrigerator.

Which is why God invented the microwave. Which certainly works great on heating up a cupful of broth at a time.

And I remembered to grate the cheese for a topping. Rather than having to rush back to the kitchen halfway through dinner and do it. I am speaking hypothetically here. Not that that’s what I’ve had to do every other damn time I’ve made this dish….

End result. A stunning dish of chicken and veggie risotto. Really yummy. Genuinely yummy. I am now expanding my risotto menu to other types. It’s fun, actually, when the end result tastes delicious and does not have the consistency of glue. In fact, no longer tastes like glue, either. There is something to this recipe following thing. I may try it again someday. Maybe with those chocolate cookies I make that crumble if you look at them cross-eyed. Hmmm. Wonder how much flour they actually take. Although I am still not going to follow directions for my quilts. Enough is enough.