Chilebrown and I are not having an affair, honest. You might think so since I praise him so often, but no. It just so happens that he and I exchanged food goodies over coffee recently - nothing fishy is going on.
Something fishy is going in, however, into our yaps. One of the swaps we made involved some vacuum-sealed smoked salmon from his friend Angelo up in Petaluma. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with it but I finally hit on a good idea. Risotto.
I've talked about risotto before so if you need the full instructions, go here. All you need to know about this risotto is the ingredients: chopped onion and sliced crimini mushrooms sautéed in butter, arborio rice, lemon juice, chicken stock, flaked smoked salmon, frozen peas, and parmesan cheese.
The fun things I learned this time are that you can substitute pure, tart lemon juice for the wine (I used two small lemon's worth) to enhance the underlying flavor of citrus and that heating the stock in the microwave works like a champ. No need to keep zapping it - once it's warmish, that's good enough. Stirring is still important, however, to keep it from sticking/burning on the bottom of the pot.
The result was a really elegant risotto that didn't photograph well. The peas were still bright green and barely cooked, the smoky salmon was deeply flavorful and the lemon juice added the perfect note to an otherwise pretty rich and fishy dinner.
Thanks to Chilebrown and Angelo, two great guys for a gal to know. And, no, I'm not having an affair with Angelo, either.