Earlier this week, I decided to revisit the risotto, given my previous delicious success with the recipe provided by the lovely, epicuriously talented Rebecca. The pear and soft goat cheese was a delicious combination of savory and sweet, and this time I wanted to explore some flavors that were more rustic and included some bold animal protein. Since I had some rogue mushrooms left over from my steak and potatoes dinner on Sunday, I chose mushrooms and sweet Italian sausage, with asiago cheese; I posted the complete recipe earlier, but again, this was also heavy in butter, onion, and white wine.
I sauteed the mushrooms before beginning the arborio rice and set them aside, so I would not have to dance between stirring the rice and chicken stock mixture, while cooking up mushrooms to add at the end. I did the same with the sweet Italian sausage; for both, they sizzled in the heavy, deep basin of my black cast iron skillet.
This is a German wine, and was rather sweet, but this served well to combat and complement the earthen nature of the mushrooms and the fattiness of the sausage.
The asiago cheese added a nice amount of salt, and an acute flavor that was sharp without being overly powerful or aggressive.
As I posted before, the recipe calls for one cup of wine; part of the fun in the labor is getting to sample the rest. This stemless Riedel, solo here, member of a quartet given to me by my sister a few Christmas seasons back, is intended for pinot noir wines, however, I love the modern design and large bowl, so I generally drink most wines from here, other than anything sparkling.
Following my older sister's advice, as I mentioned, a fabulous cook and dining experience hostess, I included some thyme, in addition to salt and pepper.
Wine, onion, arborio rice, butter, and some chicken stock bubbling happily together on the stove. Through neglectful folly of my own, I allowed the butter and onion to cook a tad too quickly and fiercely, leaving the onion quite caramelized; this ended up tasting delicious, however, I have a burned butter mess in my pot now.
The final product and some more wine, featured here with a sketch the filmmaker made for me the other morning; he has amazing geometric creativity and can draw a perfectly straight line, or circle, without a ruler or any other drafting device. He has presented me with quite the exhibition of work at this point; I love them.
Over the Christmas season, I found a large, unused sketch book, a gift from my childhood that lay abandoned and forgotten for years, and began a series of drawings in return, to give to the filmmaker. The end product will be a collection of my work and I am still working on it; I have not the hands for line and shape and color that he does, but I enjoy the process of maneuvering in line and color and shape, despite my clumsiness, especially after hours of writing executive summary reports or analyzing data. Perhaps I will share a few here in the near future.