Distraction has no place in photography. Well that’s my excuse for the lack of photos in this post anyways. I was in a bit of a perplexed state yesterday that even a food shoot wasn’t enough to cast the worries aside – in fact it only further aggravated the situation since the pictures were so poor. I had thoughts of scrapping today’s post but then that would be giving up – I hate giving up – besides this dish is worth a mention.
Little did I realize that I found the perfect recipe for my blues: Nigel Slater’s parsley risotto with Parmesan crisps. It has the hallmark of my favorite recipes: simplicity & minimal ingredients. If you’ve made risotto before you’ll know that it requires a lot of stirring; it was in this simple repetitive motion that allowed me to get lost in my thoughts and dispel my negativity. Who knew you could find therapy in a stir?
Nigel Slater’s Parsley Risotto with Parmesan crisps
50g (about 1/2 cup) flat-leaf parsley, leaves pulled from stems and finely chopped
1 litre stock (I used veggie stock but Nigel recommends chicken or turkey)
1 shallot or small onion, finely chopped
a thick slice of butter (I used a tbsp of butter/olive oil mixture to minimize fat)
300g (~ 1 cup) Arborio rice, uncooked
1/2 cup white wine
4 heaped tbsp finely grated Parmesan
In a medium pan, bring the stock to a boil with the parsley stems (bruise it slightly to release the aroma) in it. Once boiled, remove the stems, and keep the broth at a simmer, you’ll want this reasonably hot when added to the risotto mixture.
Cook the shallots in the butter/olive oil mixture for 2-3 minutes in medium heat. Add the rice and coat it evenly in the butter until glossy then add the white wine and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add a ladle of stock and stir constantly until the liquid is soaked up by the rice, this should take about 3 minutes. Continue adding a ladle of stock every 3 – 4 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed). This process should take about 40 minutes in total. The grains should be plump and the texture creamy.
Stir in the chopped parsley and a handful of grated parmesan. Season to taste.
To make the parmesan crisps, heat a non-stick frying pan until it is warm. Put a heaped teaspoon of the grated parmesan onto the warm pan and press the cheese down flat with a spoon. Once the cheese has melted, turn once and let it cook for another minute. Remove from the pan and let cool briefly before serving on top of the risotto.