Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 4: Spring Risotto

First of all, let me clarify why this is Day 4 when I never posted about Day 3.  Over Christmas break I continued my dinner challenge with my mom.  We made chicken salad together and it went very well.  Chicken salad is super easy and with my mom's help it came out great.  But I've discovered something, chicken salad is not a favorite of mine.  I didn't even finish my sandwich.  I like it fine, I just don't really enjoy eating it.  Along my blogging journey I've discovered that it's very difficult to write about things that do not excite me - so I am not writing about chicken salad. Sorry!

Ok, onward and upward!

If you are a Gordon Ramsey lover, risotto brings back joyful memories of Hell's Kitchen and shouting and mayhem and pans being thrown in the trash.  It may not be joyful for the contestants, but darn it I love that show.  Tonight I tackled a simple risotto recipe from Kraft Foods.  It may have been simple, but I'm very glad Gordon was not yelling in my ear!

It's amazing how complicated this step can be for me.  I used to think I knew my way around a grocery store.  I'm sure my Mom and Charlotte would disagree, though.  Each time I go shopping I have to call at least one of them, or both depending on who ignores my call picks up the phone.  This set was simple this week and nothing significant happened.


I started by getting out all of my ingredients and then pre-measuring each item to make sure I was ready ahead of time.  As I was looking at my list, I realized I had forgotten minced garlic.  So - I used my first lifeline and called a friend.  Mom didn't pick up, so I called Char, who also didn't pick up.  Garlic is not a must-have for me, but since I had left out the onions I was worried that I would lose flavor.  I called to see if it would matter that garlic was going to be left out.

I forged ahead and started measuring my rice. I needed two cups - I had one.  So, a trip to Giant was in order (back to Step 1).  Yes, that is my iPad sitting on top of the recipe box.  I like to enjoy Frasier and How I Met Your Mother while I cook.  Also, it's nice to know that my mom fully supports me wearing slippers to the grocery store.  Oh, I did call Char to make sure that I was cutting off the right part of the asparagus.

Once I was finally ready to start everything went smoothly.  It was really nice to be able to pour in whatever was needed and not have to worry about measuring when the stove was on.

Ya know how Tetris gets faster and faster as you play and you start to sweat and freak out?  Yeah, that's what it feels like when the stove is on and I'm cooking.  I start to panic that I'm running out of time and I won't get each ingredient in at the exact right time.  Ya know, that is a perfectly accurate description of how I feel when I cook.  Needless to say, I'll be pre-measuring from now on.

Also, a big high five to me because I unloaded the dishwasher while my risotto was simmering.  Seriously, I was on fire tonight.  Gordon would have been so proud.  Gotta keep your station clean, folks!

Tonight was my most rewarding meal.  It was delicious and it was the first time I really felt like cooking was worth the time.   I loved almost everything about it.  The only problem with this recipe is all the asparagus.  So much asparagus!  I had at least 3 pieces in every bite.  I love me some asparagus, but that was a lot.  As I was writing this post, I had to stop to brush my teeth.  Why is it that asparagus can taste so good, but leave a bad taste in your mouth?  Weird.

As the recipe suggested, I added ham.  The leftovers from each dinner are used for lunch.  I knew I would need some more substance, so the ham was perfect.

I've said it once and I'll say it again - this was a wonderful meal.  I'll just have to wait until I get my ticket to Hell's Kitchen to taste some real risotto, but this was a good substitute.

2 shopping trips
2 phone call
0 iPhone searches
35ish minutes
$ ??  (Sorry, I didn't keep track)
1 dinner
3 lunches

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