The Christmas goose may be gone, but its memory lives on in the two quarts of stock I made from the carcass. Périgord month may have gone the way of 2009, and porcini (aka cèpe, another gourmet classic grown in Périgord) season may have wound down for another year – as evidenced by my fruitless search of Paris’ biggest outdoor market a couple of weeks ago – but at least they can be a year-round treat if they’re dried. The season for fresh peas was so long ago that it’s once again in the near future, but their spirits lie dormant in the freezer, awaiting only a little warmth to bring them back for a meal.
Throw some short-grained Italian rice into the mix, and these memories become very much a part of the present, as a warming dinner for a cold winter night.
I find the more often I make risotto, the less it seems like a big deal. In my kitchen repertoire, risotto is edging its way into the “weeknight quickie” category, because really all you need is some stock, rice, and something fresh (or frozen, or dried) to give it personality. It can serve as a hearty first course, but I like to scoop up a heaping bowl and make it the main event.
Happy 2010 to all. May it bring joy, luck, new discoveries, and delicious memories.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.