Thursday, April 5, 2012

Italian Cuisine & Hair Gel

Dear Sally,

I miss you. Nothing else needs to be said.

Over here in Newmarket Jesse and I have started doing “theme” meals. Our first was an Italian night. We wanted to pair a new Italian red wine with a cheese and crackers appetizer plate. We followed this with a spicy mushroom and sausage risotto from the 2011 Holiday Special Food & Drink magazine. The recipe doesn’t call for sausage but Jesse wanted to add a little something more. His suggestion added a wonderful flavor to the dish. The wine went quite well with the meal and the risotto was so silky smooth. It was like butter in your mouth without any butter at all. As usual I made any alterations that were needed for my ‘special’ diet. I also added lots of my father’s homemade white wine for more liquid and flavor. I would love to try a dessert risotto recipe next, possibly with fresh peaches and cinnamon.

Mushroom Risotto (with sausages)

3 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup olive oil

6 oz mixed mushrooms

¼ unsalted butter (I left this out completely)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups chopped onion

2 cups carnaroli rice

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup grated Grana Padano

or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I left out the cheese)


2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp lemon juice

1. Heat chicken stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reserve on the back burner.

2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat, reserving remainder of oil. Add mixed mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or until golden. Finish with 1 tbsp butter. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Heat remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add rice and stir with a wooden spoon until rice is toasted and slightly opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Add white wine and continue to cook till all liquid is absorbed.

4. Add warm chicken stock a few ladles at a time, allowing stock to be absorbed between additions, until rice is cooked and has a creamy texture, about 22 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add grated cheese and remaining 3 tbsp butter, then fold in reserved mushrooms.

5. Let risotto rest on stove, covered for 2 minutes before plating to allow starches to re-absorb slightly. Serve garnished with parsley and s squeeze of lemon juice.

Thank you for sharing the video from your mother’s party. As I told your dad, I watched the slideshow of pictures and was crying at my desk. It is amazing to see how so many came out to celebrate such an amazing woman.Yes you can come for a tour any time . . . maybe around roofing time! Yay shingles :)

Love ya lots,

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