This is a diary of what I cook and what I eat.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Red wine risotto- colour and class

Its definitely, officially, totally my favourite thing to eat and probably the best thing to cook, if only for the creative possibilities available. I'm talking about risotto. The Italian dream that us English butcher and ruin to create a thick, clingy, rice pudding- esk mess.
I usually go with my mother's recipe. Some white onion, softened in a pan and then rice is added alongside a glass of vermouth. Then I ladle my chicken stock gently spoon by spoon. Usually it is cooked for twenty to thirty minutes and then I add a handful of parmesan cheese and ket it rest.
This week I had no Vermouth and went for a rich and smoky shiraz as an alternative and the results quite frankly were outstanding. It was able to stand up to the strength of my mushrooms and create an aroma that helped to enhance the flavour in the cheese. Top marks for the red wine risotto. In addition to this is enhanced the richness in the colour which is always a winner.

So next time you are thinking about your risotto, reach for your red wine for a change, you might enjoy the results.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Stuffing: Cavity or no cavity- that is my question!

On making my chicken dinner today, based on Heston Blumenthal's four step process as demonstrated yesterday on saturday kitchen. I made some yummy stuffing but approached the question in my mind. Do we stuff in the cavity or not. I decided to approach this dilema through the medium of two lists. A pro list and a con list. This is sad foodie action at its best.

Pro to stuffing cavity:
1. saves on washing up
2. Can give the chicken the aroma from the stuffing
3. Cooks really well alongside the chicken and remains moist and flavoursome

Cons to stuffing cavity:
1. Messy to stuff
2. Slows down cooking time signficantly
3. Does not allow you to shape them and create a lovely crust on the outside

I didn't stuff my cavity and I reckon it was a good decision especially since the Heston recipe requires 41/2 hours cooking without stuffing as it is cooked at 60 degrees. The link to watch it is below:

I hope I return this week with some more lists!