Hello darkness my old friend,
Mr and Mrs Dursley,
The world is changed,
These are the beginings of some of my favorite things. Now the latter, that beautiful dairy product, starting with a nice soft 'B' , ender with a tender 'r' and melting on your tongue some where in the middle is the ingredient of the gods. You ask any decent chef what are the 3 core ingredients of french cooking and they will tell you this ; butter butter and butter.
Now as a rule i try not to keep butter in my house because otherwise i lose my mind and start adding butter to everything, which half of the time, is really not necessary but i just cant help myself.
Sometimes I lose the plot anyway and steal my housemates butter which I then have to replace, and this means I have half a block of butter left and it all goes downhill from there.
But let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the secret to a risotto, a really good risotto, is butter.
Some nice stock, onions and garlic and your flavoring of choice will help improve your risotto no end.
In a wild splurge I went to my local fine food store the other day and baught a few beautiful ingredients and one of my splurges was some Simon Johnson risotto rice. Now a really sexy risotto rice is twice the price but really worth it.
Now I'm not going to say I'm a snob and dont ever cook risotto with the risotto rice you buy in the supermarket, because that would be an outrageous lie... But sometimes, just sometimes, its nice to buy the special stuff and really treat yourself.
The grains hold their shape for a wonderful feeling between your teeth and the way the sauce thickens is a beatiful thing. But I digress, either will work here just fine.
Now it is time for a secret.
A secret that may change your life and your tastebuds, forever.
The first few times i tried truffle it was via truffle oil. And though truffle oil is a beautiful product it is very heady. And this just wont do for everything. But truffle tapenade is made by blitzing a small amount of truffles into a mushroom paste and let me tell you that this is warm and earthy in the most amazing of ways.
It still makes your head feel a little funny and your nose start proposing marriage and I personally prefer this to truffle infused oil almost every time.
By god, ive been ranting for far too long, Ive actually made myself hungry again, just thinking about this risotto.
But dont be daunted if your living on the poor side of life; supermarket risotto rice, mushrooms and stock minus the truffle paste will still rock your socks. And possible your cocks, if you have one. Just don't skimp on the butter....
200gm risotto rice
15o gm butter
splash of oil
1 small brown onion, fairly finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced or diced (but NOT minced in a jar)
4-5 button mushrooms
2-3 Field Mushrooms
Splash of dry white wine (maybe 50-1oo ml)
2 tsp truffle tapenade (or to taste)
About 600ml of stock
100 gm more of cold cubed butter
cheese of choice (i suggest parmesan or a soft goats)
Pop your stock on to heat over a medium pan.
In a nice large saucepan softly fry off your onion and garlic in the butter and splash of oil. Keep the heat medium to low and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Dice your button mushrooms and wack into the heavenly sauteing onion mix. Fry out for a further 2-3 minutes, or until soft and sexy.
It may seem like a little too much butter at this point but what you are
going to do next is plonk in your risotto rice and stir until all the oniony garlicky flavored butter coats your grains of rice in a beautiful sheen. Cook for a minute or so, stirring as you go then add your white wine with a lovely splash and let it infuse and absorb.
Get a ladle in your simmering stock and get ready your wooden spoon and arm of choice.
Add the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly but without great effort . Let all the liquid absorb before you add your next ladle. Make sure you use your spoon to stir the whole pan, so as nothing is missed.
Continue until most of the stock is added and the rice is cooked but still with a little bite and a wonderful texture.
What you don't want is for your risotto to be stiff. Some things should most definately be stiff... But risotto is not one of them.
Now turn the heat right down and add the cold cubed butter, stirring until the risotto softens and becomes silky and lush. Adjust seasoning, truffle paste and some grated parmesan, if using.
Turn off heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes. This allows the risotto to rest and become the best it possible can be. Add a little more butter if desired.
Ladle onto a plate. The risotto should spread like so...
If it holds its shape it is too thick. Most restaurants, unfortunately, have this wrong.
Garnish with some shaved parmesan, or little chunks of goats cheese.
Taste. Decide that this, in all great likelihood, is what you would order for your last meal on earth.
My friend, apon tasting this said, "This is possibly the best thing I have ever had in my mouth."