Smoking can sometimes be awesome.

November 7, 2008 · 0 comments

in italian,rice and grains,vegetarian

I think those Yes We Can(dy) Cupcakes worked, y’all. Obama is our president-elect! I won’t subject you to my political drivel on a food blog, though.

So yeah, smoking stinks, right? Right. UNLESS we are talking about cheeses. Because, holy crap, smoked cheeses are good. (Yes, Kate, they are!)

As you know, smoked gouda is my favorite cheese, but I have a special place in my heart for smoked mozzarella and fontina, too. I once had a smoked mozzarella risotto with wagyu at a restaurant and this is sort of a (cheaper) twist on that because I added some thinly sliced flank steak to the top.

This was meant to be a smoked mozzarella and roasted tomato risotto, but I ran into a bit of a snafu with that. I kinda sorta *maybe* completely forgot the tomatoes were roasting in the oven. And it’s possible they burnt and stuck to the pan because they were so thinly sliced. Maybe.

Thankfully, I always have a jar of sundried tomatoes around, so I chopped a couple of those up and stirred them in at the end. Crisis averted. This is a simple but great twist on a classic risotto. The smoked mozzarella just adds so much goodness.

I know I’ve been a horrible blogger lately and I wish I could promise I’ll get better, but I won’t. At least not until the year is over. We have been out of town a lot, and will continue to be out of town through the holidays. On Monday, we are actually going to Las Vegas, which is really exciting because neither of us has been. Though, like any gastronome, I am looking more forward to eating well than anything else. :) But you can still wish me luck to win millions. Or hell, even hundreds.

I’m hoping to have one last blog entry before we leave for Vegas, but I make no promises.  It’s not that I don’t have time to make the post, it’s just that I worry about what I’m making actually turning out somewhat attractively. Here is a hint: it’s pancakes. Oh, wait, I guess that’s the answer, not a hint. But anyway, I notoriously suck at flipping things without them falling apart or sticking or what have you. But it’s been a LONG time since I’ve made pancakes and my skills have improved, so I think we’ll be good.

Of course now that I’ve given so much away you’ll know that if this is indeed my last post before Vegas, I have failed miserably in my pancake adventures.

Smoked Mozzarella and Sundried Tomato Risotto
Serves 2 as a side
print Printer Friendly Recipe

1 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot, diced, or about 1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup arborio rice
scant 1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, kept warm on the stove
1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
2 oz. smoked mozzarella, shredded or cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

Heat the butter over medium heat until  melted and then add the shallot and garlic. Cook until the shallot (or onion) is translucent.

Add the rice, and stir to coat it with the fat, and toast it a little. Add the wine and cook it off almost entirely.

Start adding the warm broth, a ladel at a time. Stir the risotto frequently, and once the broth is almost all absorbed, add another ladel. Continue doing this until the rice has cooked (it should still have bite to it, and should be a little runny, not like regular rice). Stir in the sundried tomatoes during your last broth addition.

Off the heat, add the mozzarella and the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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