Alphabet Veggie Soup with Mini Chicken Meatballs
20 hours ago
1/4 pound of wild boar prosciutto thick cut- 1 slice cut into small pieces for risotto prep
¼ of chopped red onion, or onion of your choice
1 teaspoon full of Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon full of garlic, or 2 crushed garlic cloves
¼ cup of dried mixed mushrooms- crumble larger mushrooms with hands (amazing how easy it was), or 1 Portobello mushroom, remove stem, and clean out gills (1 small equals ¼ cup)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 ½ cup of arborio rice (risotto- gets creamy consistency as it cooks)
4 cups of stock or broth, preferably veggie stock
1 small jar of la tartufata, or white truffle oil (lasts in refrigerator, good for drizzle only)
1 teaspoon for each serving of risotto as garnish, and for making spread for mini’s
1 scallion per 2 bowls of risotto for garnish (optional)
1 package (sheet) crescent dough- this will be enough for eight mini sandwiches, or substitute with small size baguette, cut into 2 inch horizontal pieces, and slice in half
2 teaspoons of prepared mustard, or mayo- your preference, I just used the truffle spread alone.
1/3 cup of Italian cheese blend- ¼ for risotto, and the rest sprinkled on mini sandwiches
1) Mix together mayo with a teaspoon of la tartufata (optional), I simply used it directly on bread
2) Bake crescents until golden brown, cool, slice in half; set both aside
3) In a 5 quart pot over medium heat add olive oil. Just before smoking point add wild boar (ham), onions and cook until translucent; add Italian seasonings, garlic, and stir well; quickly add risotto and stir, letting it brown a bit (an old south American rice trick I learned in Texas). Then add veggie stock until it just covers the rice an inch over. When risotto begins to boil add mushrooms. Stirring the risotto on a medium heat, uncovered (this is where it is a labor of love) until it begins to thicken, you will need to add stock. Only add stock if rice begins to show, and you know it is not ready yet. Stirring also helps release the starch to create the creamy texture that so many love about this dish. As this is cooking the mushrooms are also soaking up the broth and will become tender to the bite.
This process should only take from the moment risotto began to boil, about 20 minutes or so. Move off of heat, add ¼ cup cheese; stir in well and let sit. Any moisture you do not see at the bottom will soak into risotto.
4) While that is waiting add some wild boar (ham) pieces to the sliced bread of choice, spread la tartufata or mixture, and sprinkle with light cheese. Heat up Panini maker, or griddle pan and cook till cheese melts.
5) Top off the risotto with a dab of la tartufata and scallions. While risotto is hot, stir in and enjoy the orgasmic aroma of the white truffles, and serve with two mini wild boar Panini’s. Add a side of spinach or a salad to complete a healthy recommended meal.Open up a great bottle of Masi Campofiorin- Baby Amarone (Ripasso) wine in the $15 price range
Other the other hand- the behind the scene Super Bowl activities... the grill knobs were completely frozen- AGAIN, lots and lots of who-rah yelling, and lots of snow shoveling was going on (we had to dig out the grill and our car upon arrival). Of course to be honest with you, I do not know how Food Network employees do not pull their hair out with all the stuff that goes into filming a cooking demonstration. I have done many cooking demos, but not with a camera aiming at me. Adrienne and I were exhausted between scripting, staging, prep, camera set-up decisions, cooking, and the crowd yelling "Where is the food already"! Her and I have decided it was a bad idea to throw it all together on such a momentous day. Next time? We either hire a film crew, or we do it on a quiet sunny day. But Hey the Saints won! My mom was from N'awlins, so I was routing for them. On the positive side...we had good wine waiting!
Chateau Les Roches de Ferrand Fronsac '00 $17, If you can find this rare bottle, it is ready to drink now. An elegant, multi-layered wine. Colored brick red, the wine boasts a plummy, spicy nose and flavor notes of plum, black cherry and cedar. Lovely mouth feel, with just the right amount of tannins to launch a long, slow finish. Mostly Merlot with a splash of Cabernet franc blended in.
Chateau Moulin Haut-Laroque Fronsac '05 $25, This purple wine has a subtle, almost elusive smell of violets and damp earth. The taste is peppery, with notes of berry and oak.
Both of these will go well with grilled meats!
Paulliac Reserve Special, Lefit Barons de Rothchilds '05 $25- This was opened because it should have complemented to lamb, and even the aged mellowed tannins would not fight the heat of the meal. Here’s a nicely balanced, dark garnet Bordeaux from Paulliac worth searching out. Showing black currants and touch of mint on nose, it provides a soft attack of ripe, lush mouth filling black fruit. We felt it fell short of its promise in name and reputation for a list price of $35 per bottle.
Adrienne said- "Maybe I have a sophisticated palette or crazy, but the Paulliac was a disappointment to me last night (we all agreed). I definitely have a palette toward fruit forward, in your face wines".
Bordeaux Undiscovered- Nick Stevens writes about wines the French would prefer to keep... He talks about welsh lamb, and pairs roasted lamb with this wine below. He mentions a dish infusing Paulliac into a dish, but does not mention much else...
Chateau Puyanché, Côtes de Castillon $11.99 US (blog mentions British pounds) -Dark garnet in color with the aromas of blackberry and plum compotés, leather and spices. This bottle is a supple and complex wine, well balanced and silky. As an aromatic wine it will go well with many meats including Duck, Chicken, Pork and Lamb as well as Italian tomato and pesto pastas, roasted aubergines and moussaka.
"Hardly show-offs, the Bordeaux wines priced less than $20 are workmanlike, perhaps a little brash, but they are fine to accompany a straightforward plate of food.
A chicken casserole that is satisfyingly sturdy, a little rustic if you will, is thoroughly appropriate for the modest Bordeaux.
For the earthiness of the wines you have lentils. For their whisper of spice, cumin. The radicchio insinuates a bitter edge, to confront the tannins in some of the wines. In keeping with the price, everyday chicken thighs soak up these flavors.
The casserole can be prepared ahead and reheated, but be sure there is enough stock to keep the lentils very moist. Mashed potatoes alongside would not be a mistake".