I am a very lucky girl. Last Wednesday, my friend A- came over to cook me dinner… from scratch. :O As a person who only pretends to cook and doesn’t really know what the hell I’m doing in the kitchen most of the time, I was utterly amazed and appreciative of this thoughtful gesture.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of this until last Tuesday night after my trial German lesson ended at 9 pm. I had texted A- to figure out the plan for dinner the next day (thinking we would be going elsewhere)… but then A- kindly informed me that he would go shopping for whatever he needed to cook and could ring my doorbell… if I would be at home and tell him my street number… and then let him in.
Oops. I wasn’t expecting that one. No one, I repeat, NO ONE ever comes to my place. And I wasn’t ready to have company over!! :O
So thus began a mad scramble late on Tuesday night to tidy up my apartment. Thank goodness I had already dusted, vacuumed, and mopped the previous Sunday afternoon… so I wasn’t starting from ground zero.
But still… I had a mountain of clothes lying around that needed ironing, papers everywhere, trash cans overflowing, and… the hair!! The hair!!! I shed like a molting dog, so I had to get down on all fours and sweep all my fallen hairs in the bathroom into my dustpan. 😦
Of course, I did all this after frantically consulting with my girlfriends about why A- would invite himself over without informing me in advance, blah blah blah, and I wanted to be cool about it, blah blah blah, but it was freaking me out, blah blah blah, etc. You know, normal girl talk. 😉
So in between trying to tidy up my place, the text messages were flying back and forth on WhatsApp. I didn’t finish straightening everything out and hiding all my stuff in the closet until about midnight. 😦
So then Wednesday came and went, and the dinner was pretty good. A- came over with a giant duffel bag and pulled out… a bag of flour… a carton of eggs… a carton of milk… a container of butter… a package of chives… a package of chicken breasts… a can of corn… a red bell pepper… a bag of pine nuts… a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese… a container of tomato paste with herbs… a container of cream cheese with herbs… a package of smoked salmon… a package of brown mushrooms… some lemons… onions… and… I think that was it. OMG. Yep, that was a TON of stuff. Oh, I forgot there was a bottle of white wine, too. 😉 Wowzers. This dude sure came prepared.
So dinner was two kinds of wraps made from savory crêpes that he whipped up in a bowl without any measurements. I just stared in awe at the master in action, because all my attempts at cooking usually involve copious amounts of pouring over multiple recipes, and then checking and cross-checking to make sure that I got the measurements right. 😛
Anyway, the first wrap contained the herbed cream cheese, smoked salmon with a drizzle of fresh-squeezed lemon juice over it, fresh chopped chives, and generous slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, all rolled up into a decadently rich and delicious appetizer.
The next course was another savory crêpe, but this time filled with a mixture of sautéed chicken, onions, bell pepper, corn, herbed tomato paste, and mushrooms, rolled and topped with slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pine nuts, and more herbed tomato paste. Yummers and very filling.
So after dinner, there were still lots of ingredients left over, which I stuck in the fridge until inspiration hit me today: Aha, I could make mushroom risotto with all the ingredients I had on hand! I had a bag of risotto rice that I needed to use up and a jar of mushrooms and bouillon cubes in the pantry. And then I could use the leftover butter, onion, chives, cheese, and white wine. I don’t usually drink alcohol by myself, so I try to use it in cooking… and risotto would be perfect! 🙂
So here goes my own little masterpiece… I must say that it turned out pretty well, and I have enough leftovers for a couple more meals. 😉
Makes 4 servings
- 400 g risotto rice
- 1.25 dL white wine
- 1 L water/bouillon (I used beef bouillon)
- mushrooms (I used a 290 g drained jar of mixed mushrooms)
- grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- fresh chopped chives
- salt and pepper to taste
- Make the beef bouillon and set aside.
- Sauté the mushrooms in a pot with some butter over medium-high heat. Remove and set aside.
- Chop the onion and sauté in the pot with some butter for about one minute.
- Add the dry rice and sauté, coating with the butter. Deglaze with the white wine.
- Add the bouillon gradually, stirring until the liquid is gone. It will take about 15-20 minutes for the liquid to be absorbed and the rice to be al dente.
- Remove from heat, stir in the mushrooms, some more butter, the chives, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper to taste.