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06 October 2005

The Risotto Incident

Risotto_1A couple of years ago I delved into the world of risotto.  Up to that point I had occasionally ordered risotto in restaurants and it was hit or miss (this was during lean grad student years so I wasn't exactly eating at three star joints).  Then one autumn evening I deided to make my own risotto at home.  I made a simple mushroom risotto and promptly became a risotto junkie.  I started making the stuff every other week.  Then it happened.  I made bad risotto.  I was in a rush on a Friday evening and wanted to make something that wasn't delivery pizza for movie night. I don't know exactly how it happened, but the end result was a nightmare.  Crunchy uncooked rice grains intermingled with mush.  This was, 'the risotto incident.'  And I never made another batch...

Until yesterday.  I was doing my daily food-blog skim and stumbled upon Stephencooks' risotto cake recipe.  And who can say no to roasted butternut squash, Italian sausage, and leeks?  I decdided to go for it.  I forced myself to concentrate, go slow, and cook carefully.  Eureka!  My risotto was (close to) perfect; firm. creamy and flavorful.  In fact, I decided against making cakes, and simply made a tasty risotto dish with the aforementioned ingredients.

Check out Stephen's risotto recipe - it is delightful.  I made one minor modification to the ingredient list - I mixed my dry red wine with 1/4 cup Verdelho Madeira (a slightly off-dry madeiera with complex flavor and crisp acidity).

Of course there was the wine selection, which was one of the oddest Aussie reds I've ever sampled.  More on that later...


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Hey there Beau...thanks for the link and the kind words...risotto is addictive, no doubt about it...! Regarding the substitution in your recipe: 1) no lie, I would have used Madeira if I had some that night; 2) my cooking is all about substitution - if it tastes good do it is my motto....Thanks for your interest in


I failed to mention I've got leftover risotto - I'm going to try the cakes tomorrow night.

Indeed, fortified wine does lend itself to risotto. One of my favorite risotto concoctions is mushroom port (I use tawny) risotto. yummmmm.


Would you believe that I've never made risotto?

Perhaps it's a lack of patience...or the pre-wedding low-carb diet...

I think it's an idea whose time has come. Must add the proper rice to my shopping list this weekend!

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