Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dying on Camera, Governor's Ball

There was a story on Good Morning America today about Jade Goody a British TV reality programme star who has terminal cancer. She is allowing cameras to follow her around to see the results of her disease and it is believed they will even film her death although her publicist is denying it. This has caused something of a furore in Britain with a lot of people horrified that such a tragic moment in a human life should be put on the screen and trivialised for the amusement of a TV audience. If you would like to read more about this rather peculiar story, read here or for a video both on GMA pages. This weekend I am going to be making Tourtières so I am going to have a busy time of it. You may have heard that the Oscars take place tomorrow. Slumdog Millionaire and Mickey Rourke won the Baftas a couple of weeks ago, I wonder if they will take the Oscars as well. We have always been fascinated by the dishes prepared for the Governor's Ball by German born Wolfgang Puck who owns Spago's, a famous restaurant in California, plus quite a lot of other restaurants scattered around the States. He has a website with lots of recipes on it which I just found and will have to check out some of those recipes. I have tried several he has posted and enjoyed them very much. For the Governor's Ball this year he is serving Slow Braised Short Ribs as well as the risotto posted below. This gives me pictures of all the stars in their gorgeous clothes, up to their ears in sauce. SPRING VEGETABLE RISOTTO Source: Wolfgang Puck (Oscars 2009) 1 lb pencil asparagus, trimmed 4 oz organic spinach, washed, dried, stemmed, blanched, liquid squeezed out 6 Tbs (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper 1 Tbs minced garlic 1 Tbs minced shallots 3/4 cup Arborio rice 1/3 cup dry white wine 2- 1/2 to 3 cups organic chicken stock, hot 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Fried julienne of leeks, optional 1 Cut off 3-inch asparagus tips and reserve. Chop the remaining stalks, blanch, drain well, and transfer to a blender. Add the spinach and process to a puree. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer. Reserve. Blanch the asparagus tips, drain, and sauté in 1 tablespoon each of the butter and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve. 2 In a medium saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons each of the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until soft. Do not brown. 3 Add the rice and sauté until well coated with the oil. 4 Deglaze with the wine and reduce until almost dry. 5 Using a 4-ounce ladle, add one ladle of stock to the rice. Stir the rice over medium heat until the stock is absorbed and the rice is almost dry. 6 Add another ladle of stock and repeat the procedure until you have added a total of 2-1/2 cups of stock, or just until the rice is tender but still firm. 7 Stir in the reserved vegetable puree. 8 Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the Parmesan cheese. Continue to add stock to the desired consistency. It should be moist and creamy but not runny. Season with salt and pepper. 9 Divide among 4 heated serving plates and garnish with sautéed asparagus tips and fried julienne of leeks, if desired. Serve immediately. Servings: 4 Have a great weekend.


  1. Jo --The Jade Goody story is more bizarre in that her name was mud last year when she was kicked off a reality show for racists remarks. Now she's the bee's knees. A UK glossy magazine is paying her over a million pounds for the exclusive photos of her wedding which will take place tomorrow. There will be 300 guests apparently. I don'tknow but I find it all very distasteful.


  2. From what we have heard and read over here, I thoroughly agree with you.

  3. I guess it depends on how you look at it. To be honest, if I had a terminal illness and someone wanted to film me dying of it, and they were paying a lot of money to do it, I'd grab it with both hands. After my death the money could go to a charity that deals with that illness, as well as providing for my family.

    And at least for some viewers, the watching will be educational - and it stands a good chance of developing their compassion, too.