Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Porcini Mushroom and Orange Orzotto

Orzotto is simply barley risotto -- so it's healthier.  Now before I begin rambling about how to make a risotto and all that, I'm gonna share a nice story.
My father taught me how to make risottos. Oh I actually have two stories to share about risottos, but I'll share the other one another time, this post will be about my father.  Okay, it's not really a story.  I'm writing this in my guilt ridden state, and I have to write it instead of actually say it because I'm a hopeless human being.  Expressed emotions in real life make me uncomfortable.  I'm half Italian and half Chinese, and so yes, this comes from my Chinese side.  Both from the receiving end and from the giving end, I cannot deal with it.  If you go all sentimental about how much you love me, I freeze and grimace and my stomach churns in a curdling mix of nausea and discomfort. No, no. Don't. Please. Send me a text, write me an email.  Don't even say it over the phone.  You know what, just keep it to yourself.  I can't quite express emotions either.  This is going to sound absolutely horrifying to some of you folk, especially to you sickly melodramatic Anglo-Saxons, but I don't recall ever saying "I love you" to either of my parents. I do love them dearly but the idea of mumbling out those tongue-twisting words is nauseating.  It partly has to do with the language thing.  "I love you" in English doesn't sound like a big deal, everyone says it all the time, but "I love you" in Italian and Chinese, because I so rarely hear it, just sounds so much more..terrifying.  It also seems easier with boyfriends and friends than with family -- again, I know, judge, judge, judge away, you opinionated ****.  Excuse me, emotions make me defensive and mean.

So my father taught me how to make risottos. He's taught me many food-related things because he knows how much I love it. He does a lot of things with the sole purpose of making me happy.  I'm a very very lucky daughter, I know.  Unfortunately I'm also a moody and immature little girl who throws tantrums on a regular basis.  It must be horrible, doing everything you can to make someone happy, yet that person is just so f*cking difficult to please.  So here's an apology, Dad.  God knows I can't actually do it in real life without emptying out my insides and bursting into tears.  I get frustrated at a lot of things, but I don't actually blame my father for any of it, because I know he tried his best and he just wants me to be happy.

My father taught me the basics of an excellent risotto.  So the two secrets are patience (as with a lot of things) and a good stock. \Sorry for sounding like a total food snob but the cube stuff just won't do.  The thing I love about a porcini mushroom risotto is you can simply use the broth left over from the soaking the dried porcinis -- so much simpler than slaving away for a proper stock.

Anyway, thanks, Dad, for teaching me how to make risottos.  Here's a healthier version, watch out for your ever-expanding belly.  He'll probably read this post as a good supporting father does, so I ask of him to not make me uncomfortable by reacting to this in front of me. No hugs and loving physical contact, and definitely not a word about this.  Thanks.  <3

To the rest of you, I hope you've skipped all that and just went to the recipe.  Enjoy.  The orange zest does wonders.

Serves 4
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 glass white win
1 knob of butter
40g dried porcini mushrooms
320g barley
zest from 1 large orange

Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 1l of water.  Take out and strain and reserve the liquid.  Roughly chop the mushrooms and fry in a pan along with the minced garlic for a couple of minutes.

Fry the onion in a pan with a bit of oil until softened, but not colored.  Add the rice and toss for a bit before adding the white wine and frying it for a couple of minutes until it evaporates.  Add a ladle-full of the porcini broth and stir until it's all absorbed.  Then keep repeating this process until the rice is cooked but al dente.  Stir in the mushrooms.  Add parmesan, orange zest and then stir in the knob of butter.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE YOU MARIA! This is technically a text, so I'm allowed to tell you. RIGHT? RIGHT?? -insert emotional pouring of the heart here-



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