Last nite I headed over to JP and Heidi’s house in Belle River for dinner, mojitos and a movie. It’s not often I head out into the “county” so even though the drive out to Belle River seemed to take an eternity(which was really only 40 minutes) it did remind me how much I missed travelling out there and how small town it can feel (the lady at the LCBO knew immediately I wasn’t from the area).
Accompanying me on this culinary adventure was my Jamie Oliver “Jamie’s Italy” cookbook that I picked up at the shop over a month ago. Ever since seeing the show on Food Network I’ve been desparate to try the recipes. We decided on Risotto ai Funghi e Prezzemolo (risotto with mushrooms and parsley).
My cooking skills aren’t all that and Heidi confided that her’s weren’t exactly great either (JP agreed). So she offered to make the mojitos while I started on the risotto. There are two parts to this recipe, the basic risotto recipe the mushroom and parsley recipe. The plain version is used as a base for any other risotto dish. Once you know how to make that, you can add a variety of other ingredients to jazz it up.
Jamie Oliver is great because he doesn’t stick to measurements and keeps things rustic. His recipes usually call for a “dollop” of this or a “bunch” of that. It’s what cooking should really be about. Not being tied down to strict quantities or amounts. Just do what feels and tastes good!
While I worked on the risotto, Heidi made up some cool, minty mojitos to sip on while we cooked. Now it may have been the mojito working it’s magic, but I was pretty dam excited about that risotto. And as it kept getting closer and closer to finishing, and the aroma of the wine and broth added to the pot of arborio rice started to fill the kitchen, the excitement had built up to a point it felt like I would combust.
There may have been a little doubt as to the end result but let me tell you, it turned out perfectly! The mushrooms were roasted in garlic, butter and thyme then placed on top the creamy, savoury risotto. Definitely worth a go if you love the bold taste of parsley and Parmesan or just love a really great meal. Jamie’s Italy is also worth a look for the great rustic Italian recipes he’s collected from his travels across Italy.
And just so the mojito don’t feel left out:
In the bottom of a tall glass, add the juice of 1/4 fresh lime, 1 tsp sugar and 6 mint leaves. Muddle or mash with the back of a spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the mint is thoroughly crushed. You could also use a mortar and pestle to crush the ingredients then add it to the glass.
Fill glass with ice and add 1 1/2 oz. rum. Top with flat or sparkling water or club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.