Monthly Archives: November 2014

Mushroom risotto


Zzz seldom makes some kinds of food. Like fried stuff (simply because I will not allow ANY frying in the kitchen) or bread because we can get pretty good quality ones reasonably priced, or risotto, because risotto rice like arborio is hard to get and expensive and of cos making good risotto is a pretty laborious job, having to stir and watch over it.

I must say the replacement to calrose rice was a good option. The risotto came out so nicely I never would have guessed.

Recipe (for 4)

Stock ingredients
1 small carrot
1 postcard size kombu
1/3 leek (greener portion)
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked till soft

Put all ingredients into a medium pot. Add 1.5 L water and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it brew for 30-45 min.

Sautéed Mushroom
1/3 leek, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500 g assorted fresh mushrooms (I used portobello, white and brown buttons, oyster and chanterelle)

While the stock is brewing, slice/tear the mushrooms into larger bite size pieces (account for the fact that the mushrooms will shrink to half upon cooking).
In a hot pan, add olive oil and leeks. After 1 min, add garlic. Add mushrooms in batches. Take care not to let too much water accumulate in the pan. Sautéed the mushrooms till almost dry. Remove into a plate and set aside.
No need to wash the pan:)

2 knobs of butter
1/3 leek, finely diced
1/3 cup wine (I used mirin)
1 and 1/3 cups of rice (I used calrose)
About 1L mushroom stock from above
Sautéed mushrooms from above

When the mushroom and stock are ready, add a knob of butter and olive oil into the pan. Add leeks and sautéed for 2 min. Add rice and mix to have each grain glistening. Add wine and allow to evaporate. Add a ladle of hot stock, stir into the rice. When the rice is almost dry, add another ladle of stock and stir into the rice. Keep doing this for about 20 min, or until the rice is almost al dente. If not enough stock, use hot water.

If diners are not ready to eat, remove risotto onto a tray and set aside. 10 minute before serving, heat the pan. Add rice, mushrooms and half a cup if hot water into the pan. Mix to let the water be absorbed into the rice one last time and for the mushrooms to mingle with the rice. If desired, add truffle oil and/or grated Parmesan. Turn off the heat, add a knob if butter and a final stir to combine.

Serve and eat immediately.


Spaghetti al Limone


Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE this pasta? Never mind the exorbitantly priced organic lemon. The pasta is heavenly. The right tinge of sourness mixed with the savoury parmesan cheese and the sturdy texture of pasta. Hmmmm. I can eat this on its own, everyday.

I think I will fit perfectly in Italy. Yes?

Recipe (Serves 2)
160 g spaghetti
1 nice lemon, preferably organic
50g butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 chili padi, without seeds, finely chopped OR 1 teaspoon chili flakes
Freshly grated pecorino cheese, abt 25g
2 tbs of cream or milk
A small handful of fresh herbs such as parsley.

Boil a pot of salted water. Meanwhile prep the ingredients. When water boils, throw in spaghetti.
Immediately start on the sauce by heating up the oil and butter with garlic and chili in a skillet. After a minute, zest the lemon directly into the skillet. Cut lemon into half and juice it into the skillet, filtering the seeds with your hands. Add cream/milk and a quarter cup of pasta cooking liquid. Mix well.
Stir the pasta, taste one to decide how long it should stay in the boiling water. Lower the heat under the sauce. Throw in the cheese (leaving a little for garnish). Add some more pasta water (a little more than u think u need). Add herbs, salt and pepper, mix.
With tongs, directly transfer spaghetti from pot into skillet. Toss to coat. Plate, garnish with pecorino cheese and pepper. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and extra virgin olive oil. Serve.

Note: While this is a pretty flexible and generic recipe, do not add to many ingredients as the purpose is to let the lemon shine. Buy good lemons, preferably organic since you’ll eating the zest.
The original recipe calls for fresh pasta, of course…