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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Game 6 and Risotto 

Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. First off, I'm sorry Cubbies; it should have been, it really should have been. But for me, the excitement was all over before the Marlins got their hits in the first.

I was still at work when Game 6 started, listening to the ESPNRadio coverage on SportsTalk 980 and watching things (such as you can) online with MLB Gameday. There was screaming and yelling, which isn't such a great thing to do in the office, but it was late in the day and my office is a bit isolated. On the way home, I kept tuned to SportsTalk 980 and there was much screaming within the cocoon of the car. At the house, I could catch the game on television and, as Evelin could attest, the yelling got even worse at times. Whatever, it worked. I wasn't on the couch, I did have my gris-gris, but I wasn't waving it with Yankee pitches like I had been. All I did was to pour heart and soul into wanting the good guys to win. And they did. Big time.

It's going to be hard to focus on work today. Game 7. Cowboy up!

Actually, one bad thing from last night is that I just swallowed my dinner without paying too much attention to it. Evelin and I are trying to plan out our week’s meals (this is week two of the plan) in hopes that, if nothing else, it will make deciding what's for dinner easier. Last night we tried a new recipe: green peppers (fresh from the garden) stuffed with leftover risotto. I made the risotto on Monday night because Evelin had an after-work meeting, meaning that I could have a bit of it and we'd have plenty left over to stuff the peppers. It was a mushroom-zucchini risotto and it turned out very nicely.

For Christmas last year, I got a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. Earlier in the year, we'd visited friends who had one and the idea that you could make risotto in 7 minutes without constant stirring amazed me. And I am still amazed. Instead of a 30 to 60 minute stir-fest that still may not turn out right, risotto has become a quick and easy dinner.

I diced a medium-small zucchini, shallots, a couple of toes of garlic, some fresh crimini mushrooms and rehydrated porcinis, morels, oysters and chanterelles. Sautéed all that until done and then made the risotto as per the pressure cooker specifications.

For the wine that went into the risotto, I opened up three bottles before I found one I could work with. This is the danger of not drinking (except for occasional tastings) for a long stretch of time: I have several whites that won't age in the cellar, but none of them were ideal for the risotto. I first pulled out a vinho verde I bought on sale at the beginning of the summer; it might have worked, but the wine had been damaged and had an off flavor. The seal was wet and the wine had pushed its way up past the cork. Next I tried a white from Adams County Winery; it would have made a nice summer sipping wine, but it was too sweet for the risotto. Finally, I went with an Ekem from Naylor Wine Cellars; it's made with a vignoles, and it tasted a tad like a sauternes, which wasn't what I wanted, but it was better than the others I'd already opened and I didn't want to open another bottle knowing that it wasn't likely to get used. In retrospect, a really oaky chardonnay would have been idea -- the woodiness of the wine would have worked with the earthiness of the mushrooms -- but I didn't think of that until it was too late.

The risotto-stuffed peppers worked out well, but the peppers could have been cooked a little more thoroughly. Evelin was thinking if we put some water in the baking dish to help steam them; I though maybe to parboil them or something before stuffing. We may have to experiment.

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