Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rainy Day, No Yard Work!

A little chilly out there today. Raining now for a couple of hours. That means no yard work today (and they all rejoice, yay.)! I had to shovel 5 cubic yards of topsoil in about 3.5 hours over 2 days, in between squash games this week. I think I would like to take a break on making our yard more presentable just for a day or so.

Last night, Mrs. Urban Eater thought we should have Lobster Risotto while her parents were still here (pic attached below). After we tried to feed Little O her supper of beets and sweet potatoes (which she didn't eat as she had no interest in food at all for some reason, too tired I guess), I started pouring and stirring, 22-24 minutes later, Shazam! I love lobster, but I can only eat so much of it as it's sooooo rich. I eased off on the butter as I always do in cases such as this. Butter in the pan to start with a little EVOO to cut down the bad fat content and add a different flavor component. It also makes sure the butter doesn't burn as it has a higher smoke point. I decided to go with an onion tonight instead of shallots. Sometimes, when we have a dinner party, I will add the shallots or onions to the broth and then strain it after boiling so there are no chunky bits to get in the way of the rice, but not tonight. Stir, add white wine, stir, add broth. Went with chicken stock tonight, homemade as usual. Threw in a few peas near the end, A little butter, Parmesan, Fleur de sel and Truffle oil to top it off and we were away to the races. It is still a little high in calories, but live a little! Cut down where you can and just know how to get the most out of things in the flavor department. Oh, and don't eat it too often. You may not be able to see your toes after a month or two of eating it every weekend.

A fellow asked me a week or two ago if I used butter or margarine when I cook, risotto or otherwise. You know how you look at people when they say something weird to you, kind of over your shoulder with one eye kind of squinted a little? I took the high road and answered " I never use margarine". Didn't get into it as some people like to use it other than butter. Personally, I go with one rule of thumb: Do you want to eat something which is engineered by humans trying to lower the fat in it, or do you want to use something Mother Nature gave us with only a little human tinkering? I have done a lot of reading on this, and this little article seems to put it into perspective(http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/margbutt.htm). As far as I know, DR. Andrew Weil is a pretty good doctor and isn't a crackpot. Now, I don't know this for sure as I have very limited experience with his preaching on heath and wellness, but he makes sense. My Step-dad is a dentist. About 15 years ago, he went on one of his educational conventions they have to do to keep their designation. He told me they did a test with butter and margarine. both were melted and put in a glass cup. The butter broke down and the milk solids floated to the top, as they always do. This is called ghee or clarified butter. This is one of the many tools East Indians use for cooking. If they use it, it must be good. The margarine on the other hand, had a bunch of "stuff" floating around in it. The instructor told them this "stuff" was the part of the margarine which didn't break down. It just kind of stayed there in suspended animation. Yuck! After that, Dr. Ed said "no more margarine in this house". I never really touched it after that as well. Never really did anyways. Some people say it is one molecule away from being plastic, but that is not yet proven.

Finally had the Eggs in Purgatory this morning. Put it off for a day, but it is always worth the wait. San Marzano Tomatoes, a little onion and garlic, a couple of herbs from the garden, but not too much as you don't want to spoil the flavor of what is argueably the worlds best tomato. I try to eat Tomatoes whenever, however and with whatever (well, almost but not quite). Very good for you and a good source of lycopene (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopene). Crack your eggs into a small bowl before you place it on top of the tomato sauce so as to not accidentally cook a spoiled egg. Gently pour the egg out on top of the sauce. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Poach to your liking over medium low to medium heat. Remember the eggs keep cooking after you remove them from the pan.

Off to the other Farmers Market now. Should be crazy as the weather is not too conducive for going on a nice walk around town.

Until next time, good eating everyone.

Mark

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