May 18, 2010

Anyone seen Hook? Ohh fine. 
I  was winding down my work day and asking for dinner suggestions, when someone mentioned risotto.  Scary, scary risotto.  I’m not a huge fan of rice in general, and the fact that risotto has always seemed so labor-intensive has kept me far away.  Don’t ask why I have a bag of it in my “legumes drawer” (I just named it that, but it’s the truth. Too many kinds of lentils.  I’m taking after my mother.)
I digress.
Anyway, I happened upon a risotto recipe this morning as I was browsing Tastespottting, so I headed to the Key Foods and gathered the remaining ingredients.  This is a rich dish, my dear readers.  Prepare yourselves. 

Pistachio & Gorgonzola Risotto (via Closet Cooking)
1 tablespoon butter1 sweet onion, chopped1 clove garlic, chopped1 cup arborio rice (or other medium or short grained rice)1/2 cup wine (I bought some cheap Pinot Grigio from the Polish man down the street.  He never puts price tags on things and I swear he just charges based on his mood.)2 cups vegetable broth1/2 cup gorgonzola dolce (crumbled) (I don’t know what “dolce” means, but I used the precrumbled G from the lame cheese section at Key Foods)1 tablespoon buttersalt & pepper to taste1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped (I had to unshell these stupid things. Whatta pain.)
Directions:1. Heat butter in large sauce pan.2. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.4. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.5. Add the wine, deglaze the pan and stir while simmering until it is gone.6. Add 1/2 cup of the stock at a time and stir (STIRRING IS KEY!) while simmering until it is gone. Continue until the rice is al dente.7. Add the gorgonzola and butter and stir until melted.8. Add the pistachios and serve.

Since the risotto was a bit labor intensive and rich, I kept my side very simple. Blanched asparagus! In my opinion, this is the best way to guarantee your asparagus isn’t limp and that sad green/brown color.  It turns a nice healthy green!
Blanched Asparagus
DirectionsBoil a pot of water.Snap the ends off of the asparagus and add to water.Cook for about 30 seconds (they’ll turn bright green)Dump into a colander and either run under cold water, or put into an ice bath, depending on how lazy you are.
That’s it!  It makes the perfect al dente asparagus in the loveliest color.

This proved to be an adventure in cooking since they’re doing some work on the electricity to my building and the power kept going in and out. 

In a semi-related note, I can’t sing enough praises about my Chef’n Garlic Zoom.  My mom bought this for me two years ago and I use it more than any other kitchen gadget.  Stick peeled garlic cloves in the top, run the thing back and forth a couple of times, and you’ve got nicely chopped garlic.  So easy!!  I tried to explain its function to my friend Jeff, and he replied “so this is for people that don’t have knives?”