I was so tired when we got home from our bowling banquet and a visit to friend’s I couldn’t write much on my blog for Friday. These days I find staying out late is tiring although if I get a good book, I don’t have much trouble staying up reading til the wee hours. I mentioned we won a couple of door prizes, $10 each for our local LCBO (liquor board) so Matt used it to buy a bottle of wine, a Clos du Val Zinfandel, one of my faves. We still have Matt’s $20 win from bowling to use as well. It isn’t dated, so I guess we have plenty of time. M & M’s have such a variety of foods, not sure what we will get with it.
Bowling yesterday was lousy. I really couldn’t do anything, if I managed to find the head pin I hit it dead on and got nothing else. Very frustrating. Someone asked me if I would be bowling in the summer league. I said I would be turning up at least, I didn’t know about bowling!!! It really is a very peculiar game. One of my team members had a really fantastic game and then the next he almost didn’t make it over the 100 points.
Headline in the news yesterday, our government is going to give the parents of murdered or missing children financial support if they need to take time off to get over their grief. $350 a week for 35 weeks so long as the children are under 18 and their disappearance falls under the Criminal Code Offence. I guess this is a pretty sympathetic action on the part of our government. Parents who later turn out to be responsible for the child being missing or murdered will have to reimburse the government. If they are imprisoned I wonder how they will be able to do that.
Another interesting story is a cancer research team have just received more funding for their research on the cancer killing properties of dandelion tea. So far they have discovered that dandelion root extract virtually forces chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia cells to commit suicide. The researchers were very skeptical at first but they had been asked to check it out because of the number of incidences of dandelion tea helping people with leukemia. The research is in early stages even now, but the current conclusions seem very hopeful. I knew all those gardeners shouldn’t have been mowing down dandelions.
I thought this recipe looked delicious, I love all the ingredients in it, so what’s not to like and of course, I love risottos. Please note that is a short o in the middle not a long one. I could eat risotto almost any time. I was interested in the explanation for all the stirring of risotto. Nice to know it doesn’t need to be constant.
Spinach and Porcini-Mushroom Risotto
Yield: Serves 4
The stirring and stirring and stirring for a traditional risotto has a purpose: It releases the starch in the rice, and it's the starch that gives risotto its distinctive creamy texture. We have found, however, that the stirring needn't be constant, just frequent.
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound spinach, stems removed, leaves washed well and cut into 1-1/2-inch ribbons
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
FOR MUSHROOMS: In a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and strain their liquid into a medium saucepan through a sieve lined with a paper towel. Add the broth to the mushroom-soaking liquid; bring to a simmer. Rinse the mushrooms well to remove any grit, chop them, and set aside.
FOR RICE: In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and salt and stir until the rice begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, the 1/4 cup cognac, and the chopped mushrooms. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir 1/2 cup of simmering broth into the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth has been absorbed. The rice and the broth should bubble gently; adjust the heat as needed. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time and allowing the rice to absorb the broth before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook the rice until almost tender, about 25 minutes, and add the spinach. Cook, stirring, until the rice is tender, about 5 minutes longer. You may not need to use all the liquid, or you may need to add more broth or some water. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of cognac, the Parmesan, and butter.
Have a great weekend