Smartphones can be a curse. You need to make something up, so you conveniently look it up on Google or Pinterest. Recipes can be either be a hit or a flop, depending on whether it was a tested recipe or not. That’s not fun.
Cooking is an act of love. If I’ve learnt anything from my mother while she lived with my spouse and myself for 3 months, she rarely consults a recipe book. She knows that she can always fix the taste in the process of cooking; her most basic flavouring in cooking involves a small and simple range of spices — nothing too complex. I wish my mom was here to taste my risotto! It was perfectly done — the brown rice was not soggy nor tough from having too much or too little water (in the latter case). I would have to thank my mom for teaching me how to use a rice-cooker at the age of 7 or 8. (Thanks, Mom for this new rice cooker.)
Since I have whipping cream on hand for making buttercream/ice-cream, I’d thought, why not use it to create a savoury dish? The Flavor Bible would also aid adding joy to cooks who yearns to improvise in the kitchen; it was interesting to see how the book confirmed my experiment before I even read it. In this dish, mushroom was the feature. I also am aware that whenever we improvise, we often don’t remember what we put in it. So, I wrote down what I put in as well as using a 1/4 cup to measure things. I basically had a bit of Copper Moon’s Pinot Grigio left in a bottle in the fridge. (Copper Moon comes from a fantastic winery in Kelowna, BC — we basically served Copper Moon at our wedding.)
Things to keep in mind: each person roughly eats about 1/4 cup of rice. I teased my husband when he made rice for dinner one night; he had thought one cup is the regular portion of rice per person. I’m like, Honey, don’t worry! We can always use leftover rice to fry the next day.
So, if you’re making for more than two persons, adjust the proportions accordingly. If you don’t have enough wine, add water. If you’ve got enough wine, add just the wine — the alcohol would evaporate during the cooking process anyway, so don’t use a tart or citrus-y white wine. If you’re not using brown rice, use less liquids. From my previous experience with brown rice, brown rice gets hard from not using enough liquids to cook it. The normal guideline is for each portion of rice (Jasmine or Basmati), you must add similar amounts of water. For brown rice, it’s double the amount of water/liquids for each portion.
I have never cooked risotto before; I have only had it once or twice at Zenari’s in downtown. $8 to $10 for a white container of risotto felt like a rip-off, albeit being delicious, as I was still hungry afterwards. As a person who longs to cut down on eating out expenses, I’d thought, I should have fun in the process. The reward would be saving up enough for our (delayed) honeymoon or trips back to my home country.
1 cup brown rice, rinsed before cooking it
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup white wine (used: Pinot Grigio)
2 large mushrooms of your choice, sliced (used: Crimini)
1 cube of mushroom stock, cut into smaller portions to dissolve more easily
1 to 2 tbsp cooking oil
Tiny sprinkle of coarse sea salt (looked like 1/4 tsp), this will help raise the boiling temperature of liquids
1 cup water
- Rinse the rice with water and dump the water out.
My mom would always save this water for watering her plants.
- Add white wine, cream, salt and water.
- Add cut cubed mushroom stock, mushroom slices, cooking oil.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top.
- Turn on the rice cooker to cook. Once the rice cooker clicks to keep warm, your risotto is ready.
How easy is that?? I challenge you to improvise when cooking. Even though the dish (vegetarian Sweet and Sour Pork — not featured here, since I bought it from Wholesale Vegetarian Food Inc in YEG) I made didn’t quite complement the risotto, it was a great easy and quick meal. With the vegetarian Sweet & Sour Pork, I added pineapple chunks and carrots to my heart’s delight and stir-fried it in a wok. If you haven’t heard of this vegetarian wholesale place, definitely check it out! There’s also Loma House for frozen meat imitation products. Click on either links to read my reviews on Yelp.
Feel free to ping or trackback to this post when you take on the cooking improvisational challenge. 🙂 Happy Cooking!