June 30, 2004

back to normal *island* life...

Tuesday, June 29

It has been a few days since we got home on this island back from Colorado, and I still miss that dry air over there. Well, we have been slowly settling down again to our normal life, which means I started cooking again on a daily basis.

I made porcini risotto for dinner today. I mean, fresh porcini risotto! (Don't ask me "why fresh porcini now, in the early summer in stead of autumn?") This was my first time cooking those fresh mushrooms myself (and possibly first time eating one, as well - I am pretty sure I had had some before, but I couldn't tell whether those were fresh or frozen). When it comes to mushrooms, dried kinds usually give out a lot more flavors and aroma than their fresh form, for sure, and porcini is not an exception. But dried mushrooms often have lost the texture of a meaty flesh, and that is what only fresh ones can offer. For this reason I used both fresh and dried porcini in my resotto - fresh ones for the texture, and dried ones for the aroma. I also added regular white button mushrooms.
Another better part of today's risotto was rice. I have always heard that the best kind of rice suitable to authentic Italian risotto is Arborio, but I had never had a chance to buy and use them - until now. Ha-ha.
The risotto (recipe based on here) came out absolutely lovely. Well, if you've got good porcini, the appropriate kind of rice, and quality Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, it's very hard to fail. All you need is a bit of time and attention not to overcook rice.

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