Simple recipes

I made a risotto yesterday. This is not a thing I usually make for life’s too bloody short for fussing about shushing fat little grains about a frying pan. Yesterday though, a revelation and instead of the frying pan I reached for the wok. Now it could be that I’m making risotto for one or at most two that it welds itself to the frying pan, either way it didn’t stick to the wok.                                                                                                                                I filled the floor of the wok with olive oil and warmed it on a very low gas. Then I tipped the 1/2 cup of rice in and stirred. Then I did the usual of little by little of a well salted cup measure of water with herbs and a teaspoon of hot chili paste. With a bit of a stir after each pour of liquid.  I think for smaller amounts the narrower bottom of the wok is better, maybe. Anywooos, it was serendipity that I chose the wok. You see I’d cooked two chicken breasts on the George Foreman, (a darn excellent thing for chicken. Not so good for beef though,) that were sitting in the fridge and I had a head of broccoli that was on the turn. So with a Ramiro pepper and with all chopped fine, I tipped the lot in on top of the rice and put a lid over the wok. Oh, As with normal risotto, you don’t need to worry too much about the last lot of liquid. You sorta see when stirring it becomes more and more gloppy and when stirring you are moving the stuff on the other side. This happens if you only put in very small amounts that are then absorbed and not turned to steam. Well anyway the last 1/4 cup of the liquid you tip in at once and with the lid on it steam cooks the veg and warms the chicken. It ended up quite good. But would probably have gained from a bit of garlic and maybe a fish stock and perhaps a bit of tamarind like a Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce.

Kimberly mentioned a while ago about cold coffee. Holy WOW, but this stuff is divine. Not just OK but really good. And it improves the longer it sits.                                                             I make it with a good fine ground arabica coffee at a generous 1/4 cup scoop per liter of water. At first I made it in a water jug which I put in the fridge. But I’ve discovered it’s better if it’s not so cold but left on the counter. Also I’ve gone industrial, and am using 3 liter clip jars. I think they’re called mason jars elsewhere.

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12 Responses to Simple recipes

  1. Kelly says:

    Hmmm…a wok for risotto. You might be on to something there. I use to have one, but gave it away since I never seemed to use it.

    I use my George Foreman for making quesadillas. Works great.

    • V.H says:

      Yes, but with very little heat under it. Thing is, I’d never have thought of it if I’d not the cold chicken and the broccoli.

      The only problem I’ve got with the GF is it is very messy because the drip-tray is so light it moves at the slightest breeze.

  2. Kimberly says:

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the coffee. I am too. From someone who couldn’t get down a cup of coffee unless it was smothered and whipped in milk and sugar it’s amazing how the cold brew has completely subsided the bitterness for me. Even still, I cringe before the first sip, expecting it to be like regular brew and am always pleasantly surprised. I’m looking forward to the weather cooling so I can start making my hot lattes again, but for the time being the cold brew is satisfying that caffeine need in the hot summer. You’re leaving out on the counter and drinking from there or are you adding ice when you make one? The mason jars are all the rage with the crafty se,t and I’ve seen them holding cold brew from coast to coast. You’re trending. 🙂
    I feel the same about risotto. It’s so good, but a lot of work. I’ve only ever used stock (chicken or vegetable), so can you tell more about the prepared water you are using? I’ve always wondered how restaurants are able to turn out a risotto at the same times as the rest of a meal. It makes a good company meal, but I’ve never been able to coordinate it with everything else…it takes up ALLl of my attention. Adding in the extras (like chicken or broccoli) is a great way to get the other components of a meal while still focusing on the extras.

    Did you get all your reading finished?

    • V.H says:

      I think part of what I did was the oil in the wok. I warmed it before putting in the rice. But mostly it covered the rice entirely. If, and I’ve done it, you put that amount of oil on a frying-pan you end up with an oil-slick. And I used a 1/2 cup of rice to 1 cup of liquid. All I put in the water was salt and a dessertspoon of peri-peri.
      I think it might gain from boiling in shrimp heads(prawns) and shells to give it a little something, and then straining it. It also needed a touch of acid. But I think a squeeze of lemon would do instead of the dry white wine.
      I’d say if you wanted to pull out the stops you could replace the prawns with lobster.

      I’ve been wondering if the coffee can be heated. I might try that tomorrow to see if it’s OK. I will say I didn’t have the withdrawal I usually have when I went a week with out. It was then I discovered if it sits a while it improves. None of the cut but more flavour. I wouldn’t leave it for longer than a week though for it might generate a bit of alcohol. Although I doubt it, but best be careful all the same.

      • V.H says:

        Oh yeah, I’ve another few weeks of the course yet, so lots more reading.
        I’m getting a bit ticked off though. Coursera has this bad habit of springing reading lists during the course that could easily be in place in the months before the start date. Then they supply 100 page PDFs twenty or thirty of them. And really you cannot read those darn things for long at all, I find. Mind you the tablet has made that easier.

      • Kimberly says:

        Yes, I like both lemon and wine in the risotto – I add to the rice after the oil bit, before the rest of the liquid. It absorbs it nicely and holds the flavor. I saw a recipe for using chianti and it stains the rice the dish is RED! I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds fun.
        Ya, I’m not sure about heating the cold brew. I remember in my readings about it, some did mention warming it up as well. I’m happy with my machine’s lattes, so I’ll probably stick to keeping it cold until winter arrives (whenever that will be).
        I’ve always had a really hard time reading for long periods of time on the computer screen. The tablet has made it more book-like, but any kind of research that has to be pored over, I’ll print out.

        • V.H says:

          Thinking about it afterwards. Salt in the water will level the boil so you don’t get hot spots from the bottom of the wok. But in truth I do think it worked as I made it, with just the water rice salt sauce and then the chicken and veg’s.
          In the past my problem has been to get the chalky feel from the rice. It’s easy to get the gloopyness what’s harder is to get it cooked and remain whole textures.

  3. Kimberly says:

    Speaking of Apple, did you see this?
    http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-inc-could-owe-8-billion-back-taxes-eu-1697030
    I’m ready to throw my iPhone and iPad across the room after updating to the new software. Even the new fixer version sucks.

    • V.H says:

      Your not believe how pissed off Irish people are on reading such stuff. Even children are taxed on their sweets. And the tax authorities concoct this vacuuming of tax owed to our neighbours and then not Collect it. People were shocked at that 2% but became WTF angry with the zero for most of it. And we have the gall to go to the IMF for easement a few years ago.

      • Kimberly says:

        I would imagine so!
        The epitome of the whole thing “Another Irish Apple subsidiary, Apple Operations International, has no employees and did not pay taxes to any government for five years, despite reporting more than $30 billion in profit since 2009.” Hmmm I wonder if they did what they’re being accused of!!!
        If any one of us didn’t pay our minuscule (in comparison) tax rate for even a year, the government would be all over us, but this they let go on for years! And I’d imagine it’ll be you all who will fit the bill.
        The thing that is most frustrating of all…they can afford to pay their taxes and still be bazillionaires!

  4. Sage says:

    Our new house has one of those flat electric stoves that just doesn’t work with my wok (or cast iron pans). Your method is intriguing.

    • V.H says:

      I suppose due to the heat you’d not want to add more via the gas stove. I expect that they will see use on the BBQ thought. Of course you’ll have to dramatically lower the carbohydrates in case you lay on weight like a sumo wrestler.

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