Friday, December 7, 2012

The Spice Of Life

My Beloved subscribes to the adage, "Variety is the spice of life." He loves the mixed grills, the seafood platters, the cioppinos on menus when we dine out. He likes having something different for dinner each evening, rather than the same thing twice in a row. I'd happily make a big batch of something and eat it all week, but he's disappointed (although he's very good at politely hiding it) if I present the same meal two days running. I can pretty much predict which things he will order off a menu - look for the item that gives a variety of tastes and textures.

One of the easiest ways I know to add variety to our dinners at home is to make risotto. It's easy (for me) and I can add just about any old combination of goodies to the rice for variety (for him). 

This time, it was garlic, onions, shrimp, broccoli and mushrooms. A time-honored combination, whether you eat them as Chinese chow, serve them over pasta, or put them into a risotto. The only slightly tricky part is getting all the goodies to be cooked exactly right.

For this dish, I sautéed the pressed garlic and chopped onion gently in butter, then added the sliced mushrooms for a few minutes before dumping in one cup of arborio rice and stirring it into the garlicky, oniony, mushroomy butter until it turned opaque, about five minutes total. Then in went a half cup of white wine, stirred until it absorbed. I had pre-heated the two cups and a half of chicken stock so it absorbed, ladleful by ladleful, fairly quickly, as I stirred between each addition. Only at the very end did I add the broccoli florets and the shelled shrimp, stirring them under to cook evenly and quickly. When the shrimp was pink and the broccoli bright green, I added about half a cup of shredded ParmReg and folded that in. 

You can use pepper at this point, but it's a good idea to wait to add salt, as both the shrimp and the ParmReg are salty and they may be enough. I like to serve the ParmReg on a separate plate with a grater, so each can add their favored amount.

There are so many possibilities of ingredients for risotto that even my variety lover has never gotten bored with it. 


Blogger Hungry Dog said...

I think I'm a mix of you and your Beloved--I prefer variety every night but as the cook, I can't keep up with that. Sometimes leftovers just have to be a reality. Your risotto looks delicious!

Saturday, December 08, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Hungry Dog, I'd have made yours, but I can't find my saffron!

Saturday, December 08, 2012  
Blogger Greg said...

Not a big leftover guy. Twice and freeze it for later. Risotto is something I love to eat but never much make it at home.

Saturday, December 08, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, you should try it at home - honestly, it's very easy. Cookbooks will say you have to stir constantly but it's not true, just once every time you add a little more broth.

Sunday, December 09, 2012  

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