So in Love…. with Risotto…

I’ve had risotto, lots of risotto.. good risotto and bad risotto.. fake risotto.. and some that, to be blunt, I just had NO idea what the *BLEEP* it was.  I don’t remember the first time I ever had risotto but I do remember one of my friends trying to make risotto back in college, it was the fall of my Sophomore year and it was the first time risotto had ever crossed my lips… I remember him complaining that it was underdone and not done right, but to me, it was delicious nonetheless.

I’m Taiwanese… I grew up eating rice.  White rice. Lots of it.  Although, as a child, until puberty, I ate very little.  One of the few things I did love to eat, though, was putting my white rice in my soup [which was served every night after the meal] and fresh warm congee [usually for breakfast or if I had an upset concert]

I remember my senior year in high school I ate white rice and pork floss every meal [like 5 o 6 bowls a day] for like two months straight.

OKAY. Now that you guys know of my love for risotto… back to the arborio rice.  The delicious creamy dish. Two very specific memories of risotto stand out in my head… it was preparation and ingredients and I must say the two VERY best risotto dishes I have ever had.  The first dish I’m going to talk about is the first time I became addicted and the second dish is hands down, the BEST risotto EVER to enter my mouth.

Risotto is everywhere. It’s cool. It’s like ordering gnocchi, cuz everyone else does but rarely do people get it done right. It’s trendy.

“He couldn’t tell one good risotto from another good risotto. It was the scene.  It was the newness of the restaurant.” – Michael Gould

That quote makes me sad, because that’s so true. Nowanddays, food is SO trendy, everyone wants to be a “foodie” it doesn’t even have to be “good” anymore. NOT for me. You can be the world’s best restaurant but if it ain’t good, I’m gonna not like it and I won’t eat it.

The first time I fell completely in love with Risotto was at Daniel… it was New Years Eve 2009 going onto 2010 and the very last meal of 2009 I had was from the hands of  the amazing Chef Daniel Boulud.  Yep, as much as Boulud is grand and trendy and amazing and everyone has heard of the name and the chef, this TRULY WAS the risotto that went in my mouth, down my throat and into my heart.

Simple and true. Risotto with Parmigiano and freshly shaven White Truffles.

Keep it coming sir!  Delicious.  Creamy.  Decadent. Rich and very very simple.  Perfectly made and I did not leave ONE lick or nibble left on the plate.  Forever etched in my brain, my heart, my stomach and my soul.  To this day I will never forget how it felt, how it tasted, the environment, the setting, the mood, the THRILL of all the truffles and how I’ve NEVER tasted such amazing risotto in my life. GREAT way to end 2009.

And to prove how consistently delicious Chef Boulud‘s dishes are… more than half a year later I got the same  White Truffle Risotto dish [minus the foam] at Cafe Boulud – absolutely FREAKING delicious!

Still beautiful and delicious in 2010 :]

And lastly, the most amazingly delicious risotto dish I have ever had and I will forever compare all the risottos I eat to… YEP, was found in, who woulda thunk of ALL places, freaking Denver, CO. I went there, straight from the airport off the plane, to get their all you can eat mussels.. and while everything at Solera was DELICIOUS…. To this day, I can’t stop fantasizing about bathing in their risotto..

Confit Rabbit Risotto with Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese

Beautful isn’t it?  The rabbit confit was PERECTLY cooked down to a creamy tenderness and shredded… then carefully mixed and blended into the creamy delicate risotto. The creme fraiche made the risotto even CREAMIER and it had the most delicious fontiago cheese flavor throughout the dish.  A sprinkling of herbs and the subtle taste and sweetness of the caramelized onions… omg, PERFECTION. NO OTHER RISOTTO has COMPARED to this. I’m not even sure I could go back here and eat it again for fear it just won’t be the same.

I have “recreated” this dish before but only in the form of a rabbit pasta dish… risotto to me, is so black or white [like I’ve said before, just like gnocchi] it’s either good or not.  But isn’t that the same with all foods? I remember the guide from Top Chef Season 7 in Singapore said that too.  Only two kinds of food, good and bad.

Okay. Maybe one day I will take a flight back there sometime and get some :] And more all you can eat mussels.. but mainly for this risotto. *daydreams*

Comments

  1. Check out the how to we did on risotto. Lots of people have said that this technique worked for them. Give it a shot http://gourmandsreview.com/blog/?p=800

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  1. […] Rabbit Risottowith Caramelized Onions, Creme Fraiche and Fontiago Cheese Solera, […]

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