Matt Preston, one of the Masterchef Australia judges, calls risotto to be a ‘Death Dish’. That’s because there are just too many elements to a classical risotto, like making a fresh broth from vegetables like garlic, onions, carrots, leeks & celery; bay leaves and cloves; parsley; and some meat. The rice (normally Arborio) must be fried in a chopped onion and butter mix till it is coated well and then cooked in some wine on medium heat. Then the broth is added slowly, one ladlefull at a time, till the rice is creamy and bitey soft (as Italians say ‘al dente’..as in the rice should be soft but should be a little hard and munchy for the teeth). The total preparation time can be anything between 2-3 hours as the broth itself takes long to cook. Now meat or fish or veggies can be added to this cooking process to add flavour..the result is a lovely creamy risotto. But wait; this is a shortcut risotto..so none of this is required! 😀
Quick and Easy Prawn Risotto with Mushroom and Prawn Sauce
How are you guys doing? I want to share a news with you! Hehehhee…no no..don’t guess, coz I am sure you guys don’t know (and trust me it not anything usual!). Well actually I bought a Guitar!! yipppppeeeee!! Since I was in school where we had those music classes, I wanted to learn Guitar. But I was too shy to go up to the teacher and ask her to help learn this instrument…Sandra Banerjee, our western music teacher at Mater Dei Convent was truly one of the best music teacher I have ever had. She was good with everything..the piano, the guitar, the drums!! Oh and her voice..I loved her powerful voice which would would remind many of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act…..be it a hymn or a popular song, she was the best!! Every event, small or big ended with her singing the popular rock number of 90s “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes.
I still remember her running heartily from one end of the hall to the stage, coolly picking up the Guitar, and striking those familiar chords which would make the whole crowd roar and clap in appreciation….with her guitar and her voice she would wake up the likes of me who would be sleeping during an inter-school debating competition!! 😀 All I did at that time was clap loudly and imagine myself singing like her one day….that never happened though coz you know how life is….I got caught up in the race to achieve goals….studies, exams, career…but now I have some time and thought, why not use it to fulfill my childhood dreams. Hence the GUITAR came into my life. Possibly I would never play like our teacher, but nevertheless her love for music would always inspire me!! My friends who have learned guitar themselves tell me that I need a lot of patience….so I just hope I don’t loose patience!! Wish me luck and then one fine day while you guys eat a lovely meal (like the one below), I will play the guitar for you!
Till then, I will continue with my recipes and today’s is one of them which would go very well with the music of the guitar in the background (I think). Its a recipe I saw in an old English style book from 1980. With a few additional ingredients, I present to you a plateful of soft fish fillets stuffed with mushroom in a white wine sauce!
Basa Fish Rolls stuffed with Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce
Finally we begin to stir!! Daibi would be back in action in a few days..they just returned from an awesome Delhi By Foot Photography and Bird-Watching trip from Bharatpur!! Its such a delight to see the pictures that they have brought back…makes me long for a teleporting vehicle to transport me there!! I too wanna witness this annual migration of thousands of spectacular looking birds who travel primarily from Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and western Siberia in Russia…aaah! some day I will!! But Daibi, don’t you wanna visit the Okhla Bird Sanctuary as well?? I mean that’s one of the things you must do being in Delhi during the winters!!
No no…I will not get carried away with my melodramtic yearning for Delhi winters…STOP Dakhina Mitra!! And I am back 😀 Didi, kudos to you and my dearest Rizimon for making those amazing uttapams….I learned to make them when I was 21 and he is only 9!! I agree with our Blogger friend Rashmi about the fact that most Indian boys/men don’t know how to cook! But being in a household where grandmommy, mommy, mommy’s sister, daddy and mommy’s brother are avid cooks/food lovers, I think we haven’t left Rizimon with any other choice, but to cook ;). That doesn’t mean he is not a foodie himself….I still remember a 4-5 year old Rizimon ordering a All-American Banana Split icecream at Nirulas, Delhi for himself. There was only a quarter plate left-over for you and me who were eagerly waiting for him to leave most of it!!
Homemade Mushroom and Cheese Ravioli in a herbed Butternut-Walnut sauce
Today I will write about an Italian pasta dish which I think Rizimon can try with a little help from you. A few weeks back you had sent me a pic where he was frying potatoes by himself, so I think he can manage doing this too..I am also pasting a link on quick pasta meals for him coz I know how easy it is to make a pasta dish!
Its been quite long that we all have written letters to each other through this blog…but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been in touch with each other. My recent visit to India and the numerous messages exchanged via chat portals filled the time between my last post and this. So someone will ask us now, why continue the silsila of letters again?? To that I would happily answer, I MISS MY FOOD TALK!!! Its not that we have stopped cooking, eating or travelling in the last 1.5 month; we just couldn’t catch up with our food blog. Now I feel that I must apologise to our food and travel Blog for abandoning it like an orphan…Niloy has been making me feel guilty for quite some time now about this, but when last night I received a mail from Facebook saying, ‘You haven’t visited your Curry Cousins Page for some time’ the guilt reached another level…(I actually freaked out considering how much these sites and search engines know about us!! It reminded me of a discussion that I used to have with my friends like Chandni, Smaran, Ali and Mubbashira that in today’s world, someone is always watching….).
Anyways, coming back to my topic, let me start the writing again with a delicious yet very simple garden bake. One cold evening, when Niloy was away for an office party, I suddenly had a craving for cheese…I ended up making this with whatever was left in the fridge!!!
Hope you two are doing well. I too haven’t been able to write much lately as we attended an Indian wedding here..was awesome to see a traditional wedding in Australia where mostly all rituals were followed to the letter. The wedding reception was very European with tables marked, set menus that were served by waiters, speeches from family and close friends and dancing to a live band!! I felt like a tourist there awestruck with everything coz I have seen such weddings only on TV!! heheeeehe…Then there was Janmashtami. We celebrated it with pooris, potato curry and 6 types of home-made mithais (sweets)…I also learned how to make narkol nadu (coconut laddoo) with packaged dry desiccated coconut from Niloy’s sister who lives in Melbourne too. One has to soak it in milk enough to cover the whole amount for 2-3 hrs and then cook it with sugar/brown sugar/jaggery and some milk powder till it becomes sticky. For the first time I also tried to make the Bengali malpuabut instead of putting them in a sugar syrup, I added some sugar in the batter itself…while frying them, I realised how much oil they absorb…out of shock, I turned the malpua batter into pancakes 😛 they tasted the same…next time am thinking I would drop them in sugar syrup and see what happens!! What say??!
Anyways, what I wanted to talk about today was this dish called Chicken Involtini.
Chicken Involtini (with basil) and Polenta with Tomato Veggies