If you are going to make love or risotto, do it right.

It was pork chops last night, grilled over a wood burning fireplace out on the terrace, with tomato and bread salad, roasted green onions and artichokes, so small that there was hardly a choke, sauted with olive oil, fresh thyme and new fava beans that had been plucked from their soft blanket of fuzz that keeps them from bruising in the pod, and then pinched from their jackets.

For a first course we had the mushroom risotto, and I tell you, it’s always a bit edgy teaching how to make a risotto; the first few minutes of launching into it can feel like standing naked for the first time before someone you have only just fallen in love with, but it has to be done.  You can’t make a good risotto without bringing your whole self to it, or you will have no more than a bowl of rice that took a heck of a long time to make.  It is on every count like making love and the more you give, the better it will be.

For the pork, buy the best you can find, organic is always a start, and make your fire about an hour ahead of time.  The wood should be burning chunks of embers.  Season the pork on both sides with kosher salt, rub the grill well with olive oil, spread the coals evenly underneath, and have about three or four inches between coals and grill.  Cook for only about 3 or 4 minutes per side.  A little pink is OK.  Wh en they are done, drizzle with the best olive oil you can find, and give them a squeeze of lemon.

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