Monday, February 11, 2008

Comforting Ristto in a Bitter World

Mr Plant: can I speak to your painting department?
Me: Well, sir, we have several painting departments- do you know which period or artist?
Mr Plant: well lets say continental
Me: and the period?
Mr Plant: maybe 18th or 19th century?
Me: right- do you know the artist, sir?
Mr Plant: no- that's why I want to talk to a specialist
Me: Ok not a problem- well if you don't know the name of the artist then they'll probably ask you to send in ima-
Mr Plant: *full of tone and attitude* and you're the receptionist aren't you?
Me: *trying not to sound like I want reach through the phone and punch him square in the face* No, Sir. I'm a client service representative
Mr Plant: well make this client happy and put him through to the department im asking for.
Me: *big soundless intake of air* absolutely- if I can just take your name?

Goodbye Mr Plant. You've just been thrown into the void that is the low value British and Continental paintings department where they don't answer the phone and have no specialist to speak to you- ever.

I hope I didn't scare you off with that interchange, part of my "typical daily dialogue". I'm not a bitter person am I? No, I don't think so. Just a couple deep breaths to calm my shaking hand. I would give you the recipe for the Roasted Sea Brean I had on Friday night (our first foray into cooking fish- like the real thing with eyes and teeth) but since I wasn't completely blown over by it, I'll leave you with a picture instead and my risotto recipe which I finally tweaked to perfection!

He looks a bit like a zombie fish, non?

Classic Risotto

My mother went on a 3 month risotto obsession when I was about 12 years old. We were having all sorts of risotto about 4 times a week, but this classic one is still my all time fav.

  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1 Large yellow onion
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1. 5 cups of Arborio or Risotto Rice
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups of white wine (whatever is lying around)
  • 1 cup of parmesan

In a large saucepan melt the butter and add in the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent- about 5 minutes. In another saucepan mix the chicken broth and white wine and bring to a slow simmer. Add the arborio rice to the onions and garlic and stir to combine for about 3 minutes until you know the rice is infused with that wonderful flavour . Add a cup of the liquid and stir. Now you basically get to stand at the pot stirring, which when I first started was my absolute (and still sorta is) my favorite part of cooking. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add another cup and just keep stirring! Keep adding the liquid until your rice is tender and then add the parmesan.

To serve the risotto always remember to serve from the outside of the dish towards the center so that the middle will stay warm and gooey.

PS: My mother wanted me to add that if you add your liquid too quickly you'll end up with what she calls "Restaurant Risotto" which is hard on the outside but mushy on the inside. AKA: Kinda gross.

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