Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Orzo Risotto with Sausage and Artichoke

It was a GREAT day to cook. I got out of the hospital on Monday morning and knew that I needed to cook again soon. I was full of an energy that has since subsided a modest amount, and I am back to taking things a bit slower than when I went in to the ER Saturday night. But for that one Tuesday night, a living room full of friends chattering as I whisked from kitchen to living room to catch snippets was the uber-tonic.

Of course, Chez came over early. It's a ritual. Keeps the BFF-ness alive and well. But she was starving. And so was I. That meant something new in the Lazy Man's Supper schedule...appetizers.

I wanted good, but it didn't have to be brand new, so I grabbed some wild mushrooms and butter, a bit of minced garlic, the remaining marsala wine, and a 10-ince stainless skillet and went to work. Saute, stir, butter, stir, butter, wine, saute, reduce, butter.

Spread that on some toast and bake it for 10 minutes with fresh grated parmesean on top. I dare ya'!

It turned out that I had extra bread. Which really meant I had flavor vehicles for the last of the Bermuda Onion Amish Farmer's Cheese. Into the fire with you!

They really were good. Both flavors. Earthy and salty, and there was crisp and chew, sweet and tart. All of the good things Anthony Bourdain talks about when waxing eloquent about southeast asian street food (without the organs).

And that was just the appetizer. I had decided that my first forray back into the kitchen would also be a prime opportunity to put one of my new magazine arrivals to use. Food & Wine, March 2007, you're up.

I was originally going to do the Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings. I still will someday.

The eaters had other ideas. Chez was maternally correct and so I sent out an e-mail with the three options I wanted to cook from the mag. They picked the Orzo Risotto with Sausage and Artichoke

They chose well.

It was a one pot with few steps. Sausage, set aside. Add onion and garlic. Wait. Add orzo, stir, add liquid keep stirring for 15 minutes. Add everything else in, stir. Serve.

Five of us sat around my coffee table with the stock pot in the middle. No one tried to eat with the serving spoon. But it was a close call.

Once again, the food brought some semblance of order, some calm to go along with the storms. It didn't make everything go away, it didn't make everyone have a good day. But we all had a good time while we were eating, we all smiled a bit more easily, and we all laughed a bit deeper.

Not a bad way to get back in the saddle.


I'm The Chez said...

Once again, it rocked the house right! I was fantastic!

michael, claudia and sierra said...

i go away for a few days and you're in the friggin hospital????

glad you're cooking and eating again. it's a very good sign...

redneck muppet said...

you went to new york, i went to the the hospital. we both got to take a trip that involved trying new and exciting food.

michael, claudia and sierra said...

verrrrrry funny

Carey said...

This looks amazing. I'm going to try it soon. OMG!