Risotto: It’s Worth the Fuss

After a long absence I have finally returned with a nice short blog post about what I cooked for Mother’s Day dinner. With my husband away training, his brother stationed in another state, and my own family being in California, I felt a need to make Mother’s Day heartwarming for my mother in law. What better way to do that than to bake her favorite dessert, and a semi-fancy meal? When I had asked her to think of what she wanted to eat for Mother’s Day, the first response via text was, “I know what I want, Red Velvet Cake”. Despite the laughs that brought me, I replied “Okay, for dinner. Real food.” We ended up deciding on a mushroom risotto, crusted salmon with a honey mustard drizzle, and roasted vegetables.

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Sunday morning I got the Red Velvet Cake into the oven and it was the first thing I wanted to finish, that way I wouldn’t have much to do after I prepared the actual meal. I have only made mushroom risotto once for my husband, and it turned out decent, but not perfect. After making it this time, I realized why: risotto takes a lot of patience. Much like preparing any great something, every ingredient put in and every move made must be executed with all of your concentration and heart in order to perfect something to your own standards.

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The salmon was soaked in milk for about twenty minutes then coated with bread crumbs and Parmesan before putting into the oven. It’s a lot more efficient for me to cook two things at once so I put the vegetables in to roast at the same time. For the vegetables, a simple salt and pepper rub with some Italian dressing did the trick. When the salmon was ready I whipped up a Dijon mustard and honey mix to drizzle over the crusted salmon pieces.

The risotto took a bit more time, and by a bit more, I mean at least 30 minutes after chopping the onions and mushrooms. After sauteeing the mushrooms and onions in a bit of butter, I added raw Arborio rice and toasted it for a couple minutes. The next step is what requires patience, adding the chicken broth by cups. After adding a cup, I had to wait until the rice absorbed ALL the liquid before adding another. It took me about five cups of chicken broth and a whole lot of staring at the saucepan for one and a half cups of rice to become creamy and to my liking. The first time I had prepared risotto, I was too impatient and the rice ended up being crunchy, it was a real disappointment. But tasting this risotto was so worth all the stirring, the grunting, and the sighs. πŸ˜€

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I’d say it ended up being a great Mother’s Day, my mother in law loved her gifts and couldn’t get enough of the salmon and risotto. The cake was pretty much gone in a couple days too come to think of it.. In any case, I truly believe that when putting your all into whatever you decide to prepare, it really impacts how the meal turns out. Just keep that in mind the next time a recipe says that you have to whisk, whip, or add continuously for at least ten minutes; it’ll be worth it.

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