Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Risotto redux

It's never a good idea to go to the grocery store when hungry and without a list, but I haven't been grocery shopping in a while, wasn't enthusiastic about anything that is in the freezer, and was pretty much out of symbiotic ingredients, so I decided to risk it.

I came home with some cheese (of course), zucchini, breaded whitefish from the seafood counter, a bag of risotto, red onions and baby portabella mushrooms.  There were a few other things, too, but they didn't go into dinner.

I chopped up a cup of the portabellas and sauteed them for a couple of minutes in a bit of butter and olive oil in a spacious frying pan.  (As Julia says, don't crowd the mushrooms or they won't brown.  Same goes for meat, I have noticed.)  I moved the pan off the heat, got out a sauce pan and sauted half a red onion (chopped) and two cloves of garlic (also chopped) in a bit of oil.

I have discovered that all you really need is enough oil or fat to coat whatever you are cooking.  The big puddles called for in a lot of recipes are completely unnecessary, especially when working with a food with fairly high moisture content (i.e. mushrooms or zucchini).  The moisture released by the food keeps everything moving around and not sticking, but a little oil still gives it that yumminess.

A cup of risotto joined the onion and garlic, followed shortly by a cup of vegetable stock.  Again with the stirring until absorbed noted in the previous recipe.  Then a cup of a Riesling which wasn't too impressive on its own but turned out to do very good things for risotto.  Then another cup of stock.  And a bit more wine for good measure.  The mushrooms when in right near the end of all of the adding and stirring of the liquid.

I cubed up a bit of muenster cheese and added that over the top when I served the rice.  The mostly steamed zucchini was a nice complement.  The fish was a bit nondescript, but not bad given that I bought it pre-breaded.  But the risotto was the star.

All in all, not bad for an improvised Tuesday night dinner.  Not bad at all.

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