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Sunday, August 14, 2011

How To Prepare A Flawless Risotto

This risotto combines pears, goat cheese and crushed black peppercorns with a veggie stock:

To make it you'll need:

4 cups vegetable stock -buy a quality store bought brand or make your own ( recipe follows)
8 tbsp unsalted butter ( 1 stick) at room temperature
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots n
2 cups of Carnaroli or Arborio rice
2 cups white wine
2 cups ( 8oz ) finely crumbled goat cheese that's not aged
2 cups of peeled and diced pears ( 2 pears) preferably Bosc pears
Salt and freshly cracked peppercorns

In a medium saucepan , bring the vegetable stock to a simmer.  In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp of butter. When it begins to sizzle, add the shallots and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze, and cook stirring occasionally, until the wine has evaporated, ab   out 5 to 7 minutes. Then add enough simmering stock to reach about 1/4 inch above the rice and cook, stirring, until the liquid begins to simmer. When the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid,  add another ladle full of stock. Continue to cook in this fashion until all the liquid has been added ( about 14 to 16 minutes total ) Reduce heat to low. Add the goat cheese, pears and remaining 5 tbsp of butter and give the mixture a couple of stirs. The cheese and butter should melt, and the risotto should take on a smooth consistency in about a minute or so. serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

To make the vegetable stock, you'll need:

2 onions, peeled and halved
2 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 stalks celery
2 leeks, halved lengthwise ( white and green parts)
5 qts ( 20 cups) of water
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

In a large stock pot, simmer veggies, water, and salt for 15 minutes, skimming surface of foam and particles.
Add herbs and simmer for another 20 minutes. Strain the stock, discarding solids. Makes about 15 cups.

The Secret Of the South's Best Fried Chicken Recipe

To make it you'll need:

1  3-lb chicken , cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup kosher salt
4 cups buttermilk
1 lb lard
8  tbsp ( 1 stick ) unsalted butter
1/2 cup country ham pieces
1 cup flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

The night before, place chicken in a large bowl and set aside. In a large pitcher, combine kosher salt with 6 cups of water and stir until the salt has dissolved. Pour salt water over chicken pieces until they are submerged. Cover and refrigerate over night. In the morning, drain chicken pieces and rinse chicken and the bowl. Return chicken to the bowl and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. 

About 1 1/4 before serving, combine the lard, butter, and ham in a large heavy skillet. Cook over low heat, skimming as needed, until ham is lightly browned, about 30 to 45 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove ham and brown bits from fat. Increase heat to medium high and bring fat to 335 degrees.

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper and mix well..Dredge chicken pieces thoroughly in flour mixture, then pat well to remove excess flour. Working in batches, do not crowd pan, and place chicken pieces skin down on fat side. Cook 8 to 10 minutes on each side, until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Drain on  crumpled paper towel. Serve hot, warm , room temperature  or cold. Serves 4 to 6.