Jan. 30th, 2009 07:51 pm
rhythmaning: (whisky)
[personal profile] rhythmaning
I nearly had a culinary disaster tonight; well, a disappointment, at least. I was planning to cook myself a beef stew. I put the cooker on, set the heavy pan on the hob, poured in some olive oil... And then I realised I didn't have the tin of tomatoes that habitually sits in my cupboard.

My beef stew – for which I don't have a recipe - needs a tin of tomatoes.

I then looked in the freezer, sure that I had a piece of salmon that would suffice (if not replace). I was wrong about that, too.

This put me in a bit of a quandry; all I could think of was some pasta – my usual stand-by – or risotto. And pasta, for me, usually needs a tin of tomatoes... (Not always: pasta and garlic is delicious; and pasta and mushrooms; but neither of these felt like they would hit the Friday night with a few glasses of wine mark.)

So I went with risotto. This is actually a curious choice. I often cook risotto – but almost always on days when I have decided not to drink alcohol. (I have for a while been thinking about writing about my attitude to alcohol – almost uniformly positive, except that after some article I read many, many years ago, I make sure I don't drink alcohol at least two days in every seven; well, let's face it, I only ever don't drink alcohol two days out of seven – it is only if I have been ill or away somewhere dry that I exceed that!) For some reason, I will happily not drink wine with risotto, whilst I feel most meals are improved greatly by a glass or three of wine.

I cooked my risotto – sauteeing a shallot and a couple of cloves of garlic, adding sliced jerusalem artichoke (because it was there and needed eating), simmering some mushrooms in a mixture of (cheap) white wine and water since I really can't be arsed with stock (all the alcohol evaporates off; I see no inconsistency about cooking with alcohol when I am not drinking the stuff) – and many thanks to [ profile] coughingbear for that tip. Adding a healthy grating of parmesan and fresh basil from my very own herb farm (aka a pot in the window).

It was delicious.

I mean, it was really, really delicious.

I ate it with a couple of glasses of Chilean pinot noir, reckoning the mushroomy flavours of the grape would match the food. (Matching wine and risotto not normally a decision I have.)

It was lovely.

Now I am sitting here with a glass of Talisker and a couple of bits of chocolate, listening to the radio and feeling that all is very right with the world.

And I really must remember to get some tins of tomatoes in!
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