I think I officially turned into a grown up last night.
And not because I made risotto. Because I hung a picture on the wall all by myself. Err… well, I tried to hang a picture on the wall all by myself.
At this point I’m still waiting for it to come crashing down on top of my head. It’s going to happen. I know it’s coming any… second… now.
Anyway, I definitely did this the wrong way. Like you’re even surprised. I was sort of just “moving” a picture if that’s what you want to call it… so I didn’t need a drill or anything. Actually I probably could have used a drill, but I couldn’t find one and could have easily overlooked it because, well… when your mind is clouded with shoes, chocolate and glitter all day, a drill is not something you simply pick out in a crowded room. Plus, I don’t trust myself around a drill because when I hold a drill, I envision horrible things like how I get that weird feeling when doing dishes and want to stick my entire hand in the garbage disposal. I think I need medicated.
Instead, I pulled the screws (nails?) out of the wall and then moved them where I wanted them to go – without, uh, leveling or measuring anything – and then gently pounded them with a hammer because I saw way too many cheesy 90s sitcoms about smashing your thumb with a hammer when you go full force. And well. I just wasn’t having that.
I had to do this about 30 times before getting it right.
Coincidentally, there are now about 30 holes in my wall. At least they match my new age.
Though I don’t know if I feel like I’m 13, 30 or whatever number “clueless” stands for. But I do know that I felt very productive and patient that I made risotto without throwing a tantrum. And then, to hang a picture?! In, like, the same day? What? I was just Miss Patience yesterday. Please give me a sash and a tiara. Now.
In other news, I get this weird risotto craving in December.
I don’t know. Something about December just makes me want it. Last year around this time I made some red wine goat cheese risotto (how that was an entire year ago, I do not know) and it’s just about my favorite thing ever. (Along with everything else.) I know I’m cut from a weird cloth where I don’t find egg poaching and risotto making to be that challenging, but you should seriously see me try to dice an onion. Um. I almost lose my entire hand every single day. Or evenly toast toast. Yeah. How do you mess that up?
Or hang a picture on the wall.
Okay, I’m done.
Oh except that for some reason I am thoroughly obsessed with serving this with a perfectly seared filet. Truly, it’s all I can think about. This risotto is made with white wine, sweet potatoes, brown butter, parmesan, bacon and a ton of herbs. Doesn’t that just scream “give me a freaking steak!?”
I thought so too.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 1/3 cups dry white wine
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons brown butter
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs: sage, parsley + rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, combine chopped sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and smoked paprika, tossing well to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, tossing every 8-10 minutes. Remove and mash until pureed (or you could use a blender or food processor - I just used a potato masher), then set aside.
[Note: while the potatoes are roasting you can do other things, like cook the bacon or chop the fresh herbs to get it out of the way.]
Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add chicken or vegetable stock. Heat until hot. If it begins to boil, turn down so it is no longer boiling.
Heat a larger saucepan or even a dutch oven over medium heat. Add in remaining olive oil and butter (not the brown butter), then add shallots with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft, then add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase heat slightly and add rice, stirring to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring 2-3 times until the rice is translucent and begins to toast. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in wine. Continue to stir as the rice absorbs the wine. When most of it is absorbed, add in about 1/3 of the warm chicken/vegetable stock. Repeat the process, continuously stirring until the stock is absorbed, then add another 1/3. Repeat until all of the stock is used and absorbed and the rice is cooked, making sure to take a spoonful and taste test. The whole process will take about 20-25 minutes. If the rice is still too chewy and dense, heat a bit more liquid and add it again, stirring. The rule I go by is to add enough liquid just to cover the very top of the risotto.
Once the rice is cooked to your liking, reduce heat to low and stir in about 3/4 cup the sweet potato puree. Take a few minutes and really stir so it is well-absorbed. Stir in parmesan cheese and brown butter, mixing to combine. Taste and season additionally if desired, but remember that you are going to add bacon on top!
To serve, place the risotto in a bowl and top with some additional cheese, a sprinkling of herbs, the crumbled bacon and then more herbs and cheese if desired. Serve immediately!
This also might = Christmas Eve dinner menu. If so, I’m coming to your house.