Today, I decided to embark upon, mask making, prototype Mark three, only to be thwarted by the lack of a foot! A special foot for my sewing machine, a walking foot to be precise. Now it is many years since I taught needlework, but have never heard of, let alone possessed a Walking Foot. That is about to change, as thank you Amazon, one is on order.
Being thwarted by a missing foot, I embarked upon lights for the terrace, what with mine now a glowing and those of neighbours across the void, one could be forgiven in thinking that it is Christmas, instead of April, but Hey Ho, it cheers us all up.
For dinner today, I made risotto. Risotto, is something I love to make but almost never eat, I just think of all those calories!
One of the keys to making good risotto, is choosing the right type of rice. They are always Italian, and the most common and easiest to find is Arborio, and the second is Carnaroli. Short-grain rice has a high starch content and tends to absorb less liquid, resulting in a stickier, more compact risotto.So never wash your rice beforehand, as you do not want to be washing the starch down the sink. One of my “Go To ” places for Carnaroli rice was Carluccios, which sadly is no more.
For one or two people you will need:-
- 1/2 large onion finely chopped
- Couple cloves garlic smushed or chopped
- 1cup/225 gems Risotto rice
- 25 grams and then 150 grams butter ( I always use unsalted)
- 100 mls, white wine or bubbles if you have some left over
- About 250 mls stock or water, you might need more, this is a bit of a guessing game
- Small amount olive oil
- Pinch salt
- 100 grams ( more or less) grated Parmesan cheese.
- I used about 3 oz of mushrooms which I cooked
- Heat the oil in your pan and add the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, do not try to do this quickly otherwise it will be brown and a bit burnt.
- Add the rice and stir and basically let it get hot but not coloured, stir.
- Add some of the wine, it will sizzle, stir well and when all the liquid is absorbed, add more, and stir. Keep doing this until the wine is used.
- THE MAGIC BIT
- Risotto needs a lot of standing and stirring ( it would suit Himself and # 2 daughter as they love to stir) but can be a bit of a pain, standing stirring for about 30 minutes or so. Therefore chefs, devised this method. After the initial adding of liquid, tip the rice out onto a baking tray and leave, you can cover, it when cool with a cloth or cling room, for hygiene sake but not necessary.
- About 15-20 mins before serving, return the rice to the pan, heat up and continue to add liquid ( either vegetable stock or water ) and stir. Test the rice, after this time, by nibbling a grain or two. It should be firm to the bite, but not crunchy.
- Stir in the rest of the butter and most of the Parmesan. Add the mushrooms if using. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve, with a sprinkle of cheese ( you can always have a bowl of Parmesan on the side) garnish with some greenery.