Sunday, February 06, 2005

I made a risotto this weekend:
I sauteed two kinds of wild mushrooms separately in a pan--one was large and yellow and, according to Rahul, had "the consistency of chicken fat," and the other, which I had more of and which was cheaper, was chewier and more flavorful.

I started with a base of 1/2 onion and 1 carrot and a little handful of chopped cutting celery leaves from the garden. I sauteed these in butter and olive oil, then added about 3 cups? of Arborio rice. I rehydrated dried porcini mushrooms in hot water, then added the soaking liquid, the chopped dried porcinis, and a glass of chardonnay from my Target wine cube. I added about 6 or 8 cups of vegetable broth and generous amounts of Parmesan and butter at the end, along with plenty of salt and pepper (no, the broth wasn't enough for the salt). I chopped the sauteed mushrooms and stirred them in.

The less appetizing-looking side dish that came along with that was the remainder of my purple broccoli, which apparently turns a wan translucent violet-gray with purple undertones, like the skin of a salamander, and oozes a magenta liquid like beet juice, when cooked with an acid. I braised the broccoli with garlic, water, and red chili flakes, then added some lemon zest and lemon juice and salt and pepper. It tasted better than it looked.

Also, I got ripped off by buying "grapple" apples from Safeway. They're pronounced "grape-L," apparently. "Looks like an apple, tastes like a grape!" ran the tagline on the box. It cost a whopping $5 for 4 apples, but gosh darn it, it smelled just like grape-flavored bubble gum, and wow, apple breeding technology has come a long way! I was so excited after my discovery this year of my new favorite apple, Pink Lady, which smells and tastes vaguely floral and very sweet and fragrant.

When I got home, Rahul asked about the grapples, and I said they were apples that had been bred to taste and smell like grapes (my impression from the packaging). He pointed out the fine print that said "Ingredients: Apples, artificial grape flavoring." Fuckers. What kind of a name is "grapple" anyway? At least broccoflower has a nice ring to it. What's next? The Blape? The Grorange? Plus, the verb "grapple" doesn't have especially positive connotations.

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