Who's the Baketard?

Why Baketard? Love to cook, hate to bake. Despite having gone to cooking school and working in some top kitchens, I never learned the baking side of things. I'm building my baking and photography skills, while sharing recipes that rock my world in the mean time.

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Entries in risotto (4)

Tuesday
Mar062012

Roasted Grape Risotto with Hazelnuts and La Tur Cheese

To say I love Holly Smith and the food she serves at Café Juanita in Kirkland would be a gross understatement. I met Holly a few years ago when a friend “bought” her at the Seattle Men’s Chorus Auction, and invited us to his home to share a multi-course, wine-paired dinner she hosted with some of her staff from the restaurant. It didn't hurt that she was totally down with our snarky banter and was willing to go with the bitchy flow in the room! The food completely blew my mind—so much that for birthdays and celebrations, when David asks, “Where would you like to go” the answer is an unwavering, “Café Juanita”. (If you go, eat her signature dish…..the rabbit will completely change your life. When in doubt, Eat The Bunny Eat The Bunny Eat The Bunny. She also makes a foie dish that will make you weep with joy).

Because I am her biggest stalker fan, I often search the net for her recipes I can try at home. I ran across this risotto recipe and made it this weekend. It Blew. Our. Minds. The sweetness of the grapes and the tangy cheese are incredible together. Don’t be daunted by trying to procure the cheese.  In Seattle, you can get it at PFI for about 10 bucks. Otherwise, if you have a good cheesemonger you should be able to hunt it down.

David proclaimed this to be the best risotto I’ve ever made at home, and I have to agree.

What’s your favorite risotto recipe?

Roasted Grape Risotto with Hazelnuts and La Tur Cheese

Recipe from Holly Smith, Chef/Owner of Cafe Juanita

Serves 6

Ingredients

Roasted Grapes:

•1 bag seedless red Grapes from California

•>1/4 cup fennel seed

•1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

•1 tablespoon thyme

•1 teaspoon salt

•1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Mix all ingredients together. Roast at 400 degrees F until soft and caramelized golden. Take out and leave at room temperature.

Roasted Hazelnuts:

•1 cup hazelnuts roughly chopped

In a 350 degrees F degree oven, roast hazelnuts until lightly browned, for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool. Reserve for later.

Risotto:

•2 1/2 cups Carnaroli rice (Arborio is acceptable substitution)

•7 to 8 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock may be used as well)

•2 medium yellow onions, finely diced

•1 pound unsalted Plugra butter at room temperature

•8 shallots finely minced

•1/2 cup verjus

•1 1/2 wheels of La Tur Cheese

•1 cup roasted hazelnuts (recipe above)

•Roasted grapes (recipe above)

Melt 4 ounces of butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add diced onions and shallots and cook over medium to high heat, stirring until uniformly caramelized. While the onions are cooking, bring the stock up to a simmer in a separate pot. It is always best to add hot stock to your risotto. Add the rice to the onions and stir. Coat all kernels well. Add the verjus and stir. Add 4 cups of hot stock and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium. When the rice has absorbed most of stock, begin adding 1/2 cup more at a time. Stir every minute or two until the stock is absorbed. Continue until about 7 cups total have been added to the rice. Taste and add more stock if not cooked through. When rice is just done and still very moist, turn off the heat and let rest for 2 minutes off the burner.

Divide the remaining butter into three portions. Add one portion at a time into the risotto, beating with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Add one-half wheel of the La Tur cheese and stir vigorously. Fold in the roasted grapes and stir gently. With the remaining wheel of the La Tur, divide into 6 sections and roll in the reserved roasted hazelnuts. Divide and plate the grape risotto onto six plates. Garnish each with hazelnut La Tur cheese.

Sunday
Apr102011

Giorgio Locatelli's Mondeghini (Stuffed Cabbage) with Nettle Risotto

We had friends from work over this week for dinner and I went with an Italian theme, relying heavily on recipes I love from Giorgio Locatelli. With a cookbook collection approaching 1,000 books, his book remains my #1 go-to inspiring book. We’ve used it for cookbook clubs, I’ve leveraged his recipes heavily for catering gigs, and every single recipe turns out to be pure gold.  One of our first courses was his Mondeghini (Stuffed Cabbage) served with stinging nettle risotto. Nettles are just starting to be available in Seattle this time of year, and this recipe is one of my favorites.  

Remember to use gloves, especially when touching the nettle stalks…that’s where you will get stung. Once the nettles hit heat, either blanching or frying, the sting disappears and leaves you with a really green, springtime flavor.  We’re thrilled when we see nettles at the Farmer’s market, because this risotto is what comes next. 

The Mondeghini are something I tried at Locanda Locatelli when I was in London a few weeks ago on business. They were our favorite course we tried from the menu so I was dying to make them at home. I’ve adapted the mondeghini recipe slightly because I like it less bready than the recipe calls for. The stuffed cabbage is a little time consuming to make, as you have to form little golfball-sized sausage balls and then individually wrap them in blanched savoy cabbage leaves. Once you get the technique down it gets faster. It’s all about how adept you are at cupping Giorgio’s balls. Cup-n-twist, ladies…cup-n-twist. But be gentle...

Mondeghini (Stuffed Cabbage)

Ingredients:

1 large Savoy cabbage

350g sliced white bread, crusts cut off (Note: I only used 200g to make it less bready)

175 ml milk

400g good quality plain pork sausages, skin removed

1 small garlic clove, finely chopped (I used 6 because—hello, it’s garlic. More is better)

Sprig of sage, finely chopped

Sprig of rosemary, finely chopped (Ok, screw subtlety…..I used 4 sprigs of rosemary and 6 of sage. It could still have taken more. The herbs REALLY came through in the restaurant version)

1 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

½ glass of white wine

20g butter

Salt and pepper

 

  1. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage and choose 8 fairly large inner ones. Blanch them in boiling salted water until just soft then drain, rinse under cold running water and pat dry.
  2. Soak the bread in the milk. Put the skinned sausages in a separate bowl and mix with the garlic, sage, rosemary and parmesan. Squeeze the bread and add to the sausage mixture. Season and roll into 8 balls, each about the size of a golf ball.
  3. Lay the cabbage leaves out flay and cut out the stalks with a sharp knife. Now you need to make little balls of cabbage-wrapped sausage meat. To do this, hold a cloth in one hand, put a cabbage leaf on top, and then a ball of the sausage mixture in the center. Close your hand so that the cabbage wraps itself around the sausage meat. Turn your hand over and, with the other hand, twist the bottom of the cloth so that it squeezes the cabbage into a tight ball. Unwrap the cloth and trim the cabbage of any excess, leaving enough to enclose the sausage  meat completely. Repeat with the rest of the sausage meat and cabbage leaves. If not using straight away, keep in the fridge.
  4. After you have started making the risotto (recipe below) and cooked for about 10 minutes, begin cooking the Mondeghini.
  5. Heat a pan large enough to hold all the cabbage balls. Put in the vegetable oil and add the cabbage balls, smooth side down. Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, turn them over, then add the white wine. Cover with a lid and cook for another 15 minutes, very slowly, adding a little water (or chicken stock if you have it) if the liquid evaporates. Remove the cabbage balls from the pan and keep warm. Let the liquid in the pan reduce a little, then add the butter to make a slightly creamy sauce. Take the pan from the heat.
  6. Spoon the finished risotto onto a serving plate and top with two cabbage balls. Garnish with fried nettle leaves. 

Nettle Risotto

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of young nettle leaves
2.5 litres good vegetable stock
50g butter
1 onion, chopped very, very finely
400g vialone nano rice
125ml dry white wine
salt and pepper

 

For the mantecatura:

about 75g cold butter, cut into small dice
about 100g finely grated Parmesan

 

  1. Blanch the nettles in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, drain and put into a food processor. Pulse to a purée, adding a little water if the mixture isn't moist enough.
  2. Bring the pot of stock to the boil close to where you are going to make the risotto, then turn the heat down to a bare simmer. Cook the onion and rice in exactly the same way as in the previous recipe. Carry on cooking for about 15-17 minutes, adding the stock continuously. After about 10 minutes, add the nettle purée and bring the risotto back up to temperature. Carry on cooking for another 5-6 minutes until the rice grains are soft, but still al dente, adding more stock as necessary. The risotto shouldn't be too soupy when you add the butter and Parmesan at the end, or it will become sloppy. The risotto is ready when the grains are soft, but still al dente.
  3. Turn down the heat, to allow the risotto to rest for a minute, then, for the mantecatura, using a wooden spoon, vigorously beat in the cold diced butter and finally the Parmesan, making sure you shake the pan at the same time as you beat. Season to taste and serve.

If you dont have this book yet, GET IT. You won't be sorry.

 

Thursday
Apr072011

Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce Risotto

I found this recipe quite a while ago on Chowhound, and it was written by the most condescending, patronizing idiot I’ve ever read (present Fox News commentators administration excepted). He did say it was the best risotto you’d ever try, and I’m inclined to believe it’s definitely in the top 10. That said, I’ve removed all of his dictatorial commands and comments, with the exception of one: Be sure you use Gorgonzola Dolce rather than your standard grocery store Gorgonzola. (Honestly, you can follow any standard risotto recipe, and add in the Gorgonzola Dolce, Pistachios and Parmesan – they are the unique characteristics of this dish.)
 
We did this with duck breasts in a sweet maple/soy/honey and rosemary reduction and it got rave reviews.  Again, a home defibrillator is nice-to-have.
 
If you want to see the full, bossyassed version from the original author, the link is here.

Toasted Pistachio Gorgonzola Dolce Risotto
1 pound arborio or carnaroli rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 sweet onion, finely chopped to equal one cup
1 1/2 cups chardonnay
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound Gorgonzola DOLCE (NOTE: You definitely want Gorgonzola Dolce for this)
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/2 cup toasted (in oven for 3-4 minutes at 325 degrees) unsalted pistachios, chopped
10 oz. (about 3 cups) Reggiano Parmegiano

In a large sauce pan over medium to medium high heat (6 to 7 on a scale of 10) heat olive oil. Add onions until they sweat (several minutes). Add rice and toast stirring constantly as it cooks for two minutes or so. Add wine and cook until completely reduced stirring frequently. When the wine has completely disappeared start adding stock one ladle at a time (about 2/3 cup) and cook stirring constantly until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat until all of the stock is absorbed. After 8 or 9 minutes of this add the gorgonzola dolce.

Continue to stir the cheese into the mixture for another four minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter, toasted pistachios and reggiano. Gently stir all together thoroughly.

Thursday
Apr072011

Risotto all'Amarone with Wild Duck Soffritto and Morlacco Fonduta

Ok, guys, don’t let the long name put you off. Basically, this is risotto made with a deep, fruity red wine, seared duck breast and a sharp fat-bomb sauce drizzled all around. A little bit of time involved for the setup, but it's well worth it. Amarone is probably my favorite wine, and this recipe was why I purchased the cookbook, "The Good Grape" by Bruno Barbieri. We made this for a friend’s birthday dinner and it was a hit.

Risotto all'Amarone with Wild Duck Soffritto and Morlacco Fonduta
 
Risotto
 
8 ½ oz (240g) Carnaroli Rice
4 cups (8 dl) chicken broth
½ cup (1 dl) Amarone
1 ¾ oz (50g) Parmigiano, grated
1 ¾ oz (50g) unsalted butter
Salt
 
Duck Soffritto
 
2 wild duck breasts
1 shallot
½ cup (1 dl) Amarone
¼ cup (.5 dl) chicken broth
Mixed herbs (bay leaf, sage, rosemary)
Freshly ground nutmeg
1 ¾ oz (50 g) unsalted butter
Salt, pepper
 
Morlacco Fonduta
 
7 oz (200 g) Morlacco del Grappa*
1 ½ cups (3 dl) whipping cream
Salt, pepper
 
Instructions:
 
1.       Duck Soffritto – Eviscerate the duck and flame to remove all traces of pinfeathers. (Note from Marc: I just bought Muscovy duck breasts at the butcher for this. I am way too much of a sissy to eviscerate a freakin’ duck.) Cut the breasts into bite-sized cubes and sauté them in the butter along with the thinly sliced shallots and the herbs. Deglaze with the amarone and allow it to evaporate completely before adding the chicken broth. Allow to reduce for 2 minutes and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Keep warm.
2.       Morlacco Fonduta – Bring the cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add the Morlacco reduced to small pieces. Mix thoroughly with an immersion blender until the sauce is fluid and homogenous. Salt and pepper to taste.
3.       Risotto – Melt half the butter in a casserole over medium-high heat and add the rice. Stir to coat and toast the individual grains. Deglaze with the Amarone and allow it to evaporate completely before adding the simmering chicken broth, a ladle at a time, as the liquid is absorbed by the rice. When the risotto has completed cooking (16-18 minutes), remove from heat, salt if necessary and blend in the remaining butter and the grated Parmigiano.
4.       Presentation – Divide the risotto among four serving plates, top with the duck soffritto and nap with the Morlacco fonduta.
 
*Morlacco del Grappa is a cow’s milk cheese produced in the Veneto and Friuli regions with a firm texture and a few widely distributed “eyes”. Its delicate flavor carries just a tinge of bitterness providing good contrast to sweet and fruity notes. Marc’s Note: I was unable to find this cheese at the local Italian market, so opted instead for a firm white cow’s milk cheese with a tangy “bite” to it, from the same region. The cheese I picked up (at DeLaurenti, for those of you on my recipe distribution list who live in Seattle) was Piave Vecchio, from Veneto.