Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Risotto, baby.

I love risotto... and I actually love making risotto... it gives me a chance to stand in my kitchen and create a dish that shows my family just how much I love them even though I have to stand over a hot stove for over an hour to create this masterpiece of deliciousness,

I never make them feel too guilty...

Well, that's a damnable lie, but I love doing this for them... mostly because I get to drink copious amounts of wine while slaving away over said stove.
Last week I performed a little experiment. I tried making risotto four different ways. I made a half of a recipe for each method:

1. Oven No-Stir Method
2. Stovetop No-Stir Method
3. Robo-Stir Method
4. Drink-Multiple-Glasses-of-Wine-and-Stand-at-the-Stove-Forever-Stir Method

Here's how it turned out... each recipe started with:
Arborio Rice
Warmed chicken/vegetable broth/stock 
 chopped onions and a small cloves of garlic
1. Oven No-Stir Method

I sort of followed this recipe for Easy Parmesan Risotto from the Barefoot Contessa.

Then I added two and a half cups of hot broth/stock to 3/4 cup of Arborio rice. I threw in 1/4 of a chopped onion and 1 small clove of garlic that I put through my garlic press... stirred it up, covered it, and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
When I took it out, I added the rest of the ingredients but I added 1/4 cup of stock in place of the wine.

I figured I would feed this batch to the Angsty Teen and the wine changes the flavor a little too much for her liking. I added the peas and cheese and stirred for a couple of minutes. It was done.

2. Stovetop No-Stir Method

I melted a little butter in the pan and sauteed the onions for a few minutes. Then I added the pressed garlic clove for a quick minute... then added the rice... 3/4 of a cup... and the 3 cups of broth/stock.

I stirred it, put the cover on, and put it over a lowish heat.

It simmered for about 45 minutes... I didn't lift the lid once! But it was hard to just let it be... it looked like it was boiling dry... and that made me nervous. I didn't want to burn it... but Kati had a friend who told her how to make it this way and she was very clear that I wasn't allowed to lift the lid.

When it was time to lift the lid... I added a little bit more broth/stock and peas and cheese... stirred for a minute and it was done.

3. Robo-Stir Method

First I will tell you as briefly as I can... apparently it is a pretty long story... sorry... how I came to own a Robo-Stir...

About a year ago I was eating lunch with my parents and afterwards I went to get the mail for them. There was a BIG package for them... they were surprised and said they had no idea what it was...

We went back to their apartment and opened one of the three identical boxes that were all taped together. Inside was a RoboStir. Well, three RoboStirs to be exact. (Oh, and three free gifts of the cheapest plastic spoon I had ever seen.)

"Oh, your father ordered that for you, " my mom said. She said he had felt bad that when I made risotto that I had to slave away over a hot stove for such a long time.

The blind guy ordered me something? Really? He read the phone number from the television screen, found the phone, dialed the number, found the credit card, read that number, read the expiration date, read the three digit code from the back of the card, told them his address which he never learned, and ordered this for me? I don't think so.

And whenever I say, "I don't think so." I hear this guy with the pierced tongue from the movie Rat Race saying it. (This isn't that clip, but you get the idea.)

Pretty sure it was his idea... but she had done the ordering.

What was in the other two boxes? Two more Robo-Stirs... and not the original cheaper ones with free shipping but upgraded models... with exorbitant shipping fees added on. Instead of the bill coming to under $20... it was over $85.

My mom was very upset. "We didn't order all of those. It was supposed to be under $20!"

So I called the 800 number... I wanted to return the two additional ones, get credited for all the shipping fees, and have them send me a prepaid label to return the extras... got someone who couldn't help me... so I asked to speak to this person's supervisor to someone else.

I told the guy I wasn't impressed that they took advantage of a vulnerable senior citizen and switched her order to something more expensive.

I told them I was going to call the Better Business Bureau.

I told them that I would make sure everyone I knew found out how they treated customers.

Finally I got someone to say that I could return them, that they would credit the shipping fees, but that I still had to pay the shipping costs to send them back...


I'd made this phone call from the breakfast room because I didn't want my mom to hear me say that she didn't know what she was agreeing to... that she was kind of losing her mind and they took advantage of her.

When I went back to their apartment... I told my mom that that we were returning the extra units and that they were crediting her the shipping fees... but that they wouldn't pay the shipping to send them back or pay the difference for the deluxe version that they had tricked her into ordering.

She thought for a minute and said, "Oh, now I remember ordering the deluxe version... but I think I only ordered two of them."

AHHHHHH!!!!!! See why I said the other day that I have learned to not drive my stake in the ground before I have all the facts... or maybe this is more of an example that you shouldn't believe everything your parents tell you... yeah, that's probably what it is.


Actually... this post is ridiculously long already. I think I will finish it up on Thursday. It's late... and I don't need to write a book here... I definitely need my beauty sleep.

Find me on Thursday when I will tell you about the RoboStir Method and the Drink-Multiple-Glasses-of-Wine-and-Stand-at-the-Stove-Forever-Stir Method... which is personally my favorite.

Are you surprised?

Oh, and I will let you know which method reigned supreme.


1 comment:

  1. I love risotto, too. It's so easy and versatile. Thanks for sharing at Must Try Monday!