Friday, February 18, 2011

Rice a 'Roni

This one is directly from Craig, both the writing and, obviously, the recipe. Sadly, there is no picture of this delicious meal. We were too hungry to pause. Instead, a view from out the window earlier the same day.


The windy, winter night was perfect for a risotto but it was too frosty to venture out for a key ingredient...there was not enough arborio! Thinking to make a smaller batch, a stock was made using what was around; left over scraps of beef from trimming beef cheeks and hanger steak, a leek, an onion, a carrot. A duck confit leg added to rice for flavor and to add a bit of heft to so little rice. Then, remembering the Rice-A-Roni that seemed to be a weekly event growing up, the thought to extend the dish with some broken spaghetti. There was a small amount (not enough for a meal on it's own) in an open bag on a shelf. It would cook in less time than the rice, so it was only a matter of timing.
Worked like a charm!

rice a 'roni

1 1/2 cups arborio rice
a small amount of high quality italian spaghetti (semolina or faro) broken into pieces about 1" long
some dried morel mushrooms
a couple of shallots finely chopped
a leg of duck confit
broth (chicken, beef anything!)
about a cup of dry white wine
some chopped fresh parsley
olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Soak the morels in hot water until rehydrated. Brown the confit and shred the meat. Scrape off and save any of the crispy bits on the bottom of the pan! Heat the stock to a slow simmer.
Finely chop the shallots and soften them in a large skillet with a splash of olive oil. Remove the morels from their soaking liquid and slice. Add them to the shallots. Add the rice, stirring to coat them in the oil. Add the wine and continue to stir.
You can use the liquid from the morels (making certain that you do not let the sediment at the bottom get in) followed by the stock, about a cup at a time, stirring occasionally. Keep adding liquid as it becomes absorbed.
When the rice is just losing its hardness, add the spaghetti and continue adding stock. As the rice begins to finish cooking (it should still have some "tooth") toss in the confit.
Before serving let it sit for a few minutes. Toss in the parsley.
Plate, finish by grating a bit of Parmesean on each serving and putting a bit of the crispy confit bits on top.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that sounds a lot better than the Rice a Roni we had at our house (like 2 times a week!). That sounds amazing! I just love how the lack of something creates the opportunity to improvise, be more creative.