Forchini Cellar Master Rissoto
Celebrity Chefs and haut cuisine resturants like to elude to their seasonal menues using locally available products. What I like about Italian style cooking is that you can quickly whip up some delicious meals without fuss using not only seasonal products from the garden but also leftovers from the fridge of prior meals. The big four in my book that lend itself to this al presto fare are pasta, risotto, pizza, and frittatas all of which can be prepared with whatever’s available indoors or out. Here’s a quick & simple risotto dish made with some leftovers and fresh ingredients from the garden. It was prepared quickly after a hard day’s work of assembling the May wine club shipments. In a matter of minutes we were enjoying this satisfying meal on the patio with a glass of Forchini Pinot Noir. Our headaches of the office quickly disappeared and at the same time we had cleared out some leftovers making way for a future fresh piatti di giorni (plate of the day)
You will notice my recipes do not follow the standard format of Julia or Martha. Throw away the measuring cups and spoons and use your judgment, nose, taste and eyes and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish. Of course winemakers and Italian genes have an advantage in this regard…….we can’t all be Italian.........but give it a try!
Cellar Master Risotto with Greens, Pollo and Fungi
(Recipe serves two. Measures are approximate based on taste and appetite)
1. Using a large uncovered shallow pan, sauté with low heat ¼ cup coarsely chopped onion in a 50/50 mix of 1 tbsp each butter and olive oil until translucent. Add ¾ cup of arborio rice and brown slowly while stirring. You’ll have to buy the arborio and keep it handy as it doesn’t grow too well in the garden.
2. Add enough chicken stock or a bullion cube with water to slightly cover rice and heat until stock starts to simmer.
3. Add 1 cup of coarsely chopped arugula from the garden, a good quantity of deboned and sliced chicken left over from Sunday’s BBQ, thinly sliced fresh mushrooms and some black olives left over from Sunday’s homemade luncheon pizza, and salt & pepper to taste.
4. Add additional stock as required and continue to simmer slowly while stirring until the desired al dente is reached in about 20 minutes. At this point all the stock should be absorbed by the rice.
You could substitute chard, spinach, kale, or radicchio for the arugula, diced ham, salami or crisp bacon for the chicken, dried or canned mushrooms for fresh mushrooms, and diced carrots or cherry tomatoes for the olives. The one component you shouldn’t substitute is the Forchini wine.
Recipe by Jim Forchini
Forchini Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay