Sunday, June 27, 2010


I've been thinking about risotto for several days, and tried making it today. I can't remember ever having it...but in my imagination, it was good. It's more of a process than a recipe, with lots of stirring! But it may be the best thing I've ever cooked (except for Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon), so it's worth it.

To make risotto, you must have:
6 cups chicken broth, reduced sodium preferably
2 cups arborio rice (it must be arborio rice...otherwise no go)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2-3 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, (not too much! The broth still has plenty of salt.)
  1. Heat the chicken broth to nearly boiling and keep it hot, but not boiling, throughout the process.
  2. Saute the onion in olive oil for a couple minutes.
  3. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and rice. Stir for several minutes.
  4. With the heat at medium-low, add two ladle-fulls of broth and stir until absorbed.
  5. Repeat, allowing the broth to be absorbed before the next addition.
  6. Keep stirring and adding broth until all the broth is added and the rice is creamy and just al-dente. It should take 20-30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and add Parmesan and any other additions.
Optional additions:
10 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sauteed
1/2 package of frozen peas, thawed
1 package cherry tomatoes, roasted for 15 minutes
2 cups turkey ham, sauteed
It's amazingly creamy and rich and comforting. It will become a part of my permanent repertoire, for sure.

In other news, my last class of grad school is a total nightmare. Specifically, the professor. She is the Highlander of French literature."THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE interpretation of Balzac!" Except she's a dumpy little French-Syrian woman. Mercurial and occasionally tyrannical, she's already made two students cry (me being one of them) and gotten into a heated and completely unnecessary argument with another. She promises not to interrupt presentations, but interrupts and criticizes constantly. It's insane. We're grad students...we're the best students she will ever have, care the most, work the hardest...and she treats us like ignorant children.

For example, she told the students that would be doing study-abroad next month that they must absolutely only associate with French people while they are there, so they can learn things like "toothbrush" and "toothpaste."

But since none of us are actually French, we won't go on strike or start a riot, despite serious provocation. But I plan to write a strongly worded anonymous end-of-course evaluation, by golly!

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