Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hell Hath Frozen Yet Again

Tip Of The Day: Prepare yourself for a shock. Instead of my regularly scheduled group rant (which is being moved to Group Rant/Therapy Thursday) I will STUN YOU with today’s STUNNING content. My post gun is set to STUN, and you will be STUNNED by it. One more time. STUN.

Tip For Tomorrow: Say what you want to say, don’t bottle it up inside. That’s what any good therapist would tell you, but therapy ain’t cheap. However, I am. So stop by tomorrow and let loose with what you Always Wanted To Say, But Didn’t.
Example – yes, your butt DOES look big in those pants.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Today’s post was inspired by my new favorite blog – BipolarLawyerCook. That’s her, over on the right. She posts all sorts of yummy recipes, cooking instructions, and my personal favorite, pictures of FOOD. I try to read her stuff only around lunchtime. Otherwise, rampant snacking ensues.

In honor of BLC’s blog, and good food everywhere, I am posting my very first, created in my brain, no one helped me make it, recipe. That’s right, RECIPE. FROM ME. THE CHICK WHO CAN’T COOK.

Told you it was stunning.

Anyhoo, on with the recipe. As with most of the things I DO cook (bacon, hard-boiled eggs, toasted cheese sandwiches), this is more a set of instructions than a full-on recipe. Which is fine by me. I’m good at giving instructions – it fulfills my Miss Bossy-pants need to order people about.

WARNING: this is a time-consuming, putzy thing to make. If you have screaming kids permanently attached to your legs whenever you enter the kitchen, perhaps you should wait a few years until you try this. Like when the kids are off in college.

Also, this stuff doesn’t reheat very well, denying me my favorite food group – leftovers. However, it tastes so good freshly made, I’m quite capable of eating the whole pan by myself. If the idea of ingesting that much food frightens you, please bear this in mind: This recipe serves 2 as a main course and 4 as a side dish. Or one very hungry Chick.

And now… Drum roll please… My Recipe!

The Cheap Chick’s Lowfat, High Flavor, Cheaper Than Ordering It At A Restaurant, Chicken and Lemon Risotto

1 Cup Arborio rice. No, you can not substitute regular or brown rice.
3 Cups chicken broth, from one of the boxes you find in the soup section of the grocery store. Not bullion cubes – those get too salty.
1 Cup Water
1 Lemon, washed thoroughly, because apparently they carry a ton of germs on their rinds.
1 Smallish onion
1 Clove of garlic
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese. I just use Kraft shaker cheese, but if you want to grate it fresh, have at it.
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Pam Non-Stick Cooking Spray
A sturdy, non-stick frying pan.
A sauce pan
A wooden spoon and a soup ladle

First, get your poop in a group. Finely dice the onion; peel the clove of garlic; zest the lemon (I just use my box grater); juice the lemon, reserving the juice in a separate cup; measure out the broth and water into the sauce pan and put it on low heat.

Next, gently fry the onion in the Pam spray at medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Do NOT let it brown. Then add a bit more Pam, the Arborio rice, the garlic (pressed or finely diced), and the lemon zest. Cook the rice, stirring constantly, until it turns from translucent to white. This will take about 7-10 minutes (told you this was putzy).

Once the rice is fairly white, start adding the broth/water mix, one ladle-full at a time, stirring the ENTIRE TIME. Do not, on the pain of death (or, well, bad rice) stop stirring.

the liquid MUST be hot, or the rice will be destroyed forever. No pressure or anything.

As each ladle of liquid is stirred in and absorbed, add the next. The rice soaks it up quickly for the first 5 minutes, and then slows down toward the end. It will take about 20-25 minutes to add all the liquid. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the reserved lemon juice to the broth/water.

As you stir, you’ll notice that the rice gets nice and creamy, without having to add any butter or oil. Cool, huh? That is the beauty of Arborio rice, and why long-grain can NOT be used as a substitute.

Once the rice is cooked to your desired texture (I like mine to have a medium bite, not too mushy or too firm), take it off the heat and add the salt, pepper and cheese. Stir well to incorporate, and then leave the rice to sit for a few moments. Last, serve it up to your peeps. Remember, this doesn’t reheat or keep that well, so you have to eat it right away.

And there you have it. My first recipe. Ta-Da! Just don’t expect a lot of these.


LaRue said...

Alton Brown had an entire show the other night about Risotto. You and he are of like minds. But you have more hair.

mia said...

Most of my cooking falls into the following categories:

1. Stir-fried or sauteed things. Really fast and fairly hard to screw up.

2. Pasta dishes. Again, hard to screw up. And cheap, which is important.

3. Stew/chili/soup things.

4. "Grilled" things. I have no yard so I don't actually grill outside; rather, I marinade all kinds of stuff and throw it on a grill pan.

5. Salad things.

6. Totino's things.

Anonymous said...

You know... I have a chicken and rice recipe too.

Aside from that, I couldn't help noticing that your chicken and rice recipe lacked the afore mentioned chicken. What's up with that?

-El Jefe