Sunday, October 4, 2009

well well well.

      I once thought that strep was one of those ailments that was reserved for ten year olds who sneezed on everything and used their unwashed-after-using-the-restroom hands to channel-flip between Hannah Montana and Degrassi. Alas, I discovered that it could be passed from said ten year olds to their more hygiene-conscious twenty-two year old nannies. I shrugged it off as a mere cold on Thursday. Gargled salt water with a pinch of baking soda, nursed echinacea tea, and napped frequently. By the time I woke up on Friday, my tonsils had grown big enough to become full fledged speech impediments. I kid you not; I was the (not-so-)happy parent of the oral equivalent of ten pound twin humans. I went to the doctor, and he actually cringed and shrugged when he handed me the lab printout. I spent the contagious part of strep in bed, bidding for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book sets on eBay and browsing Etsy for dandelion-embossed stationery. After 24 hours of taking antibiotics, $30 spent online on shit I probably won't need in the long run, and one and a half knitting projects underway, I was ready to celebrate not being contagious by COOKING!

      I decided to make risotto, since I hadn't made it in over a year. I have a good saffron risotto recipe, but decided on basil-parmesan with brown rice. I think risotto is made with strictly arborio, but what the hell. You never know until you try, right?

      I almost choked after the first bite. I looked at the bouillon-to-water ratio; I had followed it. But why was it so salty?? I hadn't added more than 1/4 teaspoon of salt. I guess the bouillon was strong. Looking at the nutritional facts, if one cube has 50% of one's DNV of sodium... and one cube is to be used with two cups of water, but I needed four cups of water, so I put in two cubes... You can do the math.

      Small dinner party to commence tomorrow. I'm going to try risotto again, this time with only one cube of buillon, and maybe I'll go get arborio. 'Tis the season for risotto, anyway. Below is what I'm assuming will be a good, simple risotto recipe. Will include updates post-secondary endeavor.

Basil-Parmesan Risotto
  • Ingredients:
    • 28 oz chicken stock (I would use one cube buillon to four cups water, then just don't add the last ladle or two of stock)
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • 1/2 onion, diced
    • 1 cup rice
    • 1 cup marsala cooking wine
    • 1 tablespoon basil
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • Directions:
    1. Put chicken stock in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Pour oil into another medium saucepan and place over medium heat for one minute.
    2. Stir onions in pan with oil for three minutes or until translucent. Add rice and cooking wine. Lower heat to simmer.
    3. Once almost all of the liquid in the rice-onion-wine mixture is gone, start adding the chicken stock while stirring frequently. Add two ladlefuls at a time, and make sure that almost all of the liquid is gone before doling out more stock.
    4. Add basil when you've ladled in half of the chicken stock. Once you have used up all of the stock (save for a ladle or two, since you've made 32 oz of stock and only need 28 oz), turn off the heat and mix in the butter. Once the butter has completely melted and is mixed in, stir in the cheese and let cool, covered, for two minutes.

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