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Santa Barbara, CA, United States
I enjoy creating original wine-pairing recipes that are healthful and delicious. I work for Touring & Tasting a Santa Barbara based wine club and national magazine as Food Editor. However, I am not paid for this blog and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I received my Personal Chef Skills Competency Award from the SBCC's School Of Culinary Arts. In 2012, I started Inside Wine - Santa Barbara with pal Lila Brown which features wine tastings with winery owners and winemakers. I also serve on the Board of the Santa Barbara Culinary Arts group, which had Julia Child as one of the founding members and funds scholarships for SBCC culinary students in her name.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Risotto--Week #7 Culinary Class

This week in Culinary class, we made risotto and coq au vin. "Riso" is "rice" in Italian--"otto" is a suffix that indicates "small" and "adorable", so "risotto" would be "adorable little rice". However, as Chef Fredericks pointed out, in the culinary world, risotto is not a term for rice but for the cooking technique of gradual and incremental addition of liquid during the cooking process. So, it is possible to make butternut squash risotto without any rice whatsoever, just with cubes of the squash cooked and stirred as liquid is added--creating a creamy sauce around the cooked chunks. View a recipe for Fresh Fava Beans With Risotto.
I dislike the texture of most veggie burgers--too mushy. I've played around with crunchy nuts and found this combination works well. I've made these to bring to a traditional bbq so I can have something off the grill instead of hot dogs or beef. Keep them chilled in a cooler, between parchment paper, if you transport them, since raw egg is a food safety concern if left at room temperature for more than a few minutes.
Parmesan Nut Burgers:
olive oil
2 Tbsp. onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic
3 button or crimini mushrooms
pinch oregano
1/8 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. basil
1 egg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
approximately 3/4 cup Panko crumbs
Coat the bottom of a frying pan with a light film of olive oil, heat over low heat. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sweat the vegetables (cook without browning) until onion is translucent. Stir in the oregano, marjoram and basil and remove pan from heat to cool. In a mixing bowl, stir the egg with a fork until well mixed. Add the Parmesan cheese, almonds, Panko and cooled onion mixture (use a spatula to scrape into the mixing bowl). Mix well with enough Panko to form a moist ball. Divide into two parts and pat each one into a patty. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with oil, heat over medium low and add the patties. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to low. Cook the patties until browned on the bottom, flip with a spatula and brown the other side. Serve on bun with toppings of your choice. Makes 2 servings.

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