A million years ago, I was a senior in high school gettin’ ready for my big adventure off to college. That was back in the olden days when you needed a college e-mail address to have a Facebook. Yep, a long, long time ago…
So while I was excited about a lot of the new things that would be coming my way: a fancy new class schedule, new stuffs for my brand new room… I was really excited about one thing in particular… getting my college e-mail address.
When I did, you can bet yo’ butt I went straight to Facebook and made myself a profile. As soon as I did, I got all these friend requests from other freshman who would be going to college with me… I didn’t know any of them, and I was obviously too super cool to be associated with these potential lame-Os, so I denied all of them… well… most of them. I accepted one, her name was Amanda… I accepted her because I liked her photo of bubbles:
Little did I know, I was also Amanda’s only Facebook friend from our new college. She friended me because she liked this photo of me eating chilli cheese fries:
So neither one of us thought much about it, until a few weeks later when we got our new roommate assignments… yep, in a creepy twist of fate, out of 4,000 new freshman, Amanda and I were matched together.
That, my friends, is a match made in heaven.
And oh what a match it was! Amanda and I are now the very bestest of friends who share many of the same passions, like eating cold leftovers straight out of the fridge, wearing fuzzy socks, and sleeping with the air conditioning on in Winter.
Why am I telling you all this? Because this week Amanda came to visit me!
We did lotsa fun things together!
We put on music in the mornings and danced around with mimosas. We went sailing. We crashed a 5K so that we could eat some free burritos. We visited the Museum of Fine Arts and saw this super cool Chihuly exhibition:
And we cooked!
Amanda and I share a deep love for all foods warm, mushy, gooey, buttery and cheesy… the perfect recipe for such a pair?
Uh, risotto of course!
This recipe comes from my hero, Mark Bittman. Out of his book “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.” For those of you who remember, I briefly tried to blog about cooking my way through said book, but the publishing company didn’t want me reprinting all the recipes. An occasional recipe, however? That’s ok by them, so it’s ok by me too!
Amanda and I made a double batch of this and ate it for lunch, dinner, AND breakfast. We think you should do that same, too.
Mushroom Risotto (From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups hot water
- 3-5 cups vegetable stock, or water
- 2 T butter and/or olive oil
- 2 shallots or 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 ½ cups fresh cremini or porcini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- Salt & pepper
- ½ cup dry white wine
- A big handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water. Warm the stock over medium heat and leave the heat on.
- When the mushrooms soften, place the butter/oil in a large saucepan and turn the heat to medium. When it’s hot, add the shallots or onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for another 5-7 minutes. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Squeeze them dry, chop, and add to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes; do not let the mushrooms brown.
- Add the rice and stir until it is coated with butter/oil. Add a little salt & pepper, then the wine or vermouth. Stir and let the liquid bubble away.
- Strain the mushroom-soaking liquid and add it to the rice; stir and let the liquid bubble away. Begin to add the stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition and every minute or so. When the stock is just about evaporated, add more. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Keep the heat medium to medium-high, and stir frequently (constant stirring is not necessary).
- Begin tasting the rice 20 minutes after you add it to the pan; you want it to be tender but with still a tiny bit of crunch. It could take as long as 30 minutes to reach this stage. When it does, add the parmesan and remove from the heat. Check the seasoning, adjust if necessary, and serve immediately.