When the risotto doesn’t risote

A.  you could cry

B.  you could slap it around

C.  you could check the box to see if you could blame it on what you bought.

Bingo.  Not all risotto is created equal.  In fact I think some risotto is just out there to get you, trick you and make you feel bad.  I had a dinner to cook on Saturday, I was already feeling down in the dumps, so much so that I was going through the store asking people to just hand me things off the shelves because I couldn’t see through my tissue.  Cooking is like driving really.  In the Driver’s Manual that they give you from the D.O.T., it clearly states that when you are upset, is no time to drive.  The problem is cooking is my job, which it makes it harder to call up and say, “look, I’m feeling upset, so I can’t come in today.  It’s not good for me, it’s not good for you, and it’s not good for the food.”

If you need risotto there is more than one brand that works, but the brand that always works, is Campanini.  If they don’t sell it within spittin’ distance of you, you can always order it on line.

When you are ready with box in hand:  Make yourself a beautiful chicken stock. Have a bottle of dry vermouth ready.  Buy one teaspoon of saffron fronds.  Chop one tight fresh onion finely (red or yellow).  Saute in about 6 tablespoons of butter, along with a sprig of parsely and a sprig of thyme, until the onion cries out to you, it is so delicious.   Add 1 1/2 cups of risotto.  Coat with the onions and after 30 seconds, add two ladles of HOT stock.  Stir with your your soul.  At no point do you leave the risotto.  Would you leave a lover in the bed–only if it was time to give up.  Continue to add stock, until the risotto is tender (but not mush.)  Turn off the flame, and fold in, very gently now, five tablespoons of room temperature butter, cut into cubes, along with 3 tablespoons of vermouth.  Sprinkle with finely chopped fresh parsely and serve. (with a smile on your face)

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