Thursday, 28 July 2011

Resorting to Risotto

Without wishing to sound arrogant, I make a pretty mean risotto.  I don’t really understand how this happened, as I only discovered the delights of this wonderful oozing rice dish a couple of years ago, but it has rapidly become a reliable recipe for storecupboard emergencies and situations when I need to impress.
One of the things I love most about risotto is the way its flavour entirely depends on which ingredients are added to the rice mixture – almost like an Italian version of the fabled stone soup. Creamy and sweet with parmesan and leeks, crisp and fresh with asparagus and smoked salmon, silken and earthy with butternut squash and sage...there’s a combination to satisfy any craving and every mood.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Use your (chocolate and banana) loaf!

I confess that I’m not much of a baker - but this is more for reasons linked to desire than to ability. When cooking, you generally want to taste the finished dish to judge its success or failure, decide what needs adapting to improve the flavours next time, and hopefully ensure that it will bring a smile to the lips of any dinner guests. The danger I face if that dish is a tureen of velvety chocolate mousse or a basket of cupcakes is that my sweet tooth will overcome my sense of portion control, and pretty soon my body will involuntarily wibble and wobble more than a jelly on a plate (and not in the way Beyonce meant…!).