Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 23, 2011

I bought some lovely red peppers at the market last week. Shiny and big! They had a speck of green on them as well. All the more colorful. There are so many things you can do with red peppers. A risotto was calling my name. So it would be: my Mom's Birthday dinner. A dish respective of her. She is still living. Close in fact. Things are better between us now. She is now realizing the fact that life is a bowl of cherries for her son. The bowl has spilled over many times in my life. Too many! So now, I honor her with this dish. Putting a large saute pan over low heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, I cooked 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin, and a regular size can of petite cut diced tomatoes for 5 minutes. I then added 2 bay leaves and 2 large red bell peppers that had been charred and blistered over broil temperature in the oven, about 25 minutes total time, then put in a plastic storage bag to cool. After they have been cooled(about another 30 minutes), remove the outer charred skin and inner seeds and core. Slice them into small pieces. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. I then added 2 1/2 cups of arborio rice to the cooked mixture, stirring in completely. Over low heat on the back burner, there should be 6 cups of chicken broth simmering over low heat. In ladle fulls at a time, add the broth to the rice mixture, cooking over medium heat. Do not add more broth until the ladle before has been incorporated into the rice mixture.(This whole process will take about 18-20 minutes, stirring constantly. If you stop stirring, the rice will burn.) When the rice is done cooking, it should be creamy, yet texturally refined. Not Mushy. Season liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. I then added a pat of Parmesan butter and stirred it in. After plating the dish, I then sprinkled fresh grated Parmesan cheese over the top and completed it with fresh basil. Thanks Mom!

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