easy does not necessarily equal quick. this risotto taught me that. really, there's nothing that difficult about making risotto at home--it's just takes a lot of time and patience. the former i have plenty of for another week, the latter, not so much.
this recipe produces a.ma.zing. smells all along the way.
first, there was the stock. the recipe called for fish stock. i don't have fish stock in the pantry. neither did any of the usual stores i shop at. then i remembered the lobster tail carcasses left over from this guy, that i had saved for some reason in the freezer. lobster stock! genius! seriously, stock is easy. throw stuff in a pot. simmer forever. strain. and this one's easier than the recipes i've read for other types of stock. it smells so freakin' good while simmering along, too.
then you've gotta slow-roast some tomatoes. when they first start smelling, they smell so sweet. like so sweet i was looking around to see where i had dropped some strawberries or a popsicle wrapper. thing is, the kitchen trash was empty, and i hadn't had either of the above stocked for awhile.
i could have roasted these a little longer.
then you melt butter in a pan, to which you add shallots. such a rich smell.
after toasting the rice in the above, you throw in some white wine, which further deepens the already-rich aroma.
then you start scooping the stock, which is simmering again by this point smelling all amazing, in little by little. at this point, i was seriously about to die from olfactory overload.
something i'm learning from all this super-from-scratch cooking is that all your senses feast during the whole process. it's so amazing watching, smelling, tasting, feeling, and hearing stuff transform with the application of a little chop here, a little heat there, a little combination here. sitting there stirring this stuff forever was torture.
it's weird. when i bake, i sometimes can't eat the goods after. i taste too much of the raw ingredients in them. like i'll totally taste the flour, or the egg yolks, or the brown sugar. blech. it's probably from smelling it all in the dough while making it. cooking, i've learned, is a completely different story.
well, my patience was rewarded. finally.
i threw some asparagus in because i had some about to go bad.
the best thing about this recipe is that there is no parmigiano reggiano mixed in at the end to make it all rich and gooey like the other risotto recipes i've tried. it's still so rich despite that, even if you don't finish it with the last tablespoon of butter. the only bad thing in it is the rice itself, i guess, which isn't bad in moderation. mmm...carbs.
oh, and another lesson learned--these photos taught me that i need a faster lens and/or a tripod. dang expensive hobby.
seriously, try this. spread it out over a few days and savor the smells. it's not hard. really. and all the waiting is worth it.