Thursday, November 29, 2007


So, I am in a baking mood, no doubt! I just have the urge to go home and make something delicious and pretty and wonderful using either Baileys or Eggnog (the two delicious liquids I have on hand right now).

Sadly, however, when I moved into my new apartment, someone who shall remain nameless, but who's already on my naughty list, dropped my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer, and since then it's not working. I just need to take it in to get looked at, but till last week it wasn't a big deal. Then Thanksgiving hit, and with it so did the orders for Gluten Free pies, and boom, I was without a mixer and having to borrow one from none other than the guilty culprit himself. Who then proceeded to ask for it back like his life depended on being within a 5 foot vicinity of an appliance he hasn't used since 2005. Turd!

Urgh, some people just annoy me.

Oh, speaking of which, I just had to turn away some kid trying to raise money for D.A.R.E., and I felt like a total tool. How do you look at some poor kid, straight in the eye and say "No, sorry, we don't allow solicitors in the building" when it's below freezing out and he has puppy dog eyes. I'm so ashamed.

Ok, back to ripping on this person who, I believe I remember, broke my Kitchen-Aid. Yeah, so anyways, as I'm remembering that my mixer is broken, and his is returned, it occurs to me, I can't bake anything sweet & lovely tonight. Without a mixer. I am very disheartened.

That is, till I start thinking of what else I'd like to cook, as I settle in on this chilly night, ready to nest on the sofa, warm & toasty in my favorite blanket, watching more episodes of Big Love.

Risotto. This is perfect Risotto weather.

Risotto is one of those foods that is, by it's very nature, comforting. I mean, to make it right, you have to open a bottle of wine. And the aroma of it cooking is so wonderfully delicious and romantic and heady. It usually contains something savory and herbacious, in tonight's case a little fresh oregano & thyme. The taste of it is melty, and creamy, and always salty enough to satisfy even me. It takes time, so you have to be in the kitchen, stirring, which opens the door to something else that makes me grin - the fact that I can turn on some Christmas music, throw on an apron & with my glass of wine hang out in the kitchen for a while, proving that just because you live alone and eat alone doesn't mean you have to be a Debbie Downer. Waaaw-waaaaaw.

So, that's my plan tonight. I'm excited to head to the grocery store right away after work & get the few things I will need for this delicious concoction. For anyone who may feel inspired, here is my favorite Risotto recipe. It's perfect for a night like this.

Italian Sausage & Mushroom Risotto
Serves 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled into 1/2-inch Pieces
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scrapedout, caps diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 cups red wine
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arborio rice (about 13 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. (I find that a Le Creuset dutch oven or casserole is perfect for this.) Add sausage and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add all mushrooms, thyme, and oregano and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot & set aside.

Add 1/2 cup wine; boil until almost absorbed, about 1 minute. Set aside. Meanwhile, bring stock to simmer in large saucepan; remove from heat and cover to keep hot.

In the same pot as before, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add rice; stir 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup Madeira; simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot stock; simmer until almost absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until rice is just tender and mixture is creamy, adding more stock by cupfuls, stirring often and allowing most stock to be absorbed before adding more, about 25 minutes.

Just before the last of the stock is stirred in, add and stir in the sausage mixture and ¾ of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Pass the remaining cheese separately.


danielle said...

nice recipe, i gotta do that someday yum!

danielle said...

oh yeah, the d.a.r.e kid. lol! yes shame on you! he should've kicked you in the shin, then run like the wind! :)