10 Ways Tuesday: Grapefruit

Cutting Grapefruit into Segments (c)2012 LaDomestique.com



It’s 10 Ways Tuesday and I’ve got creative ideas for cooking with grapefruit:



1.  Cocktail

Let’s start this list off with a cocktail, shall we? Grapefruit juice was made for cocktails- it’s not just sweet, but a fantastic combination of bitter, tart, and floral. According to Saveur, the Paloma is one of the most popular cocktails in Mexico. It’s a mixture of tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and soda with a pinch of salt. I love bubbles so a sparkling wine, grapefruit juice, St. Germain (elderflower liqueur) cocktail would be my preference. In Canal House Cooking Volume 6 you’ll find several variations on the grapefruit cocktail, my favorite being the Italian Greyhound, a mixture of gin, grapefruit juice, and Campari.

2.  Broiled Grapefruit

Everyone’s doing it, so I had to put caramelized grapefruit on the list. As you can see over at Bon Appétit, Grapefruit Brûlée is as simple as slicing a grapefruit in half, sprinkling the cut sides liberally with brown sugar, and popping it under the broiler for a few minutes. Use the sweeter, ruby red grapefruit variety for best results. This is an old school brunch item treat, originally served with a maraschino cherry. For something unique, try Yotam Ottolenghi’s version with star anise.

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Ingredient of the Week: Grapefruit

Grapefruit (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

I spent last week in the desert, literally. The husband and I set off on a spontaneous trip to Arizona for some sun and a change of scenery. Having never visited the Grand Canyon state, I was in awe of the desert’s striking beauty. The sun rose and set, casting shadows over giant saguaro cactus and painting the desert shades of red and purple. Prickly cactus, short and tall, round and flat, jutted from the sandy soil. Succulents like aloe vera, reached towards me with long, spindly arms. We drove from Phoenix to Sedona to the Grand Canyon, stopping to take photos or sit quietly on the rocks. The wind whispered legacies of Native American tribes: Navajo, Hopi, Yavapai, Apache. Visiting the ruins, carved out of the cliffs, we wondered what became of these ancient people. Theirs was a time before written history, a time as old as Stonehenge.

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Cook in the Moment: Risotto Rosso with Red Wine, Radicchio & Smoked Mozzarella

Risotto Rosso with Red Wine, Radicchio, and Smoked Mozzarella (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

Each week I contribute a column to the Whole Foods Market Cooking Boulder Website expanding on one of the 10 Ways Tuesday ideas. Below is the original article from this week, a recipe for Risotto Rosso with Red Wine, Radicchio, and Smoked Mozzarella.

This week at La Domestique is dedicated to risotto, a method for cooking rice invented by the Italians. A fat, short-grain rice is necessary to achieve the creamy texture of risotto. Any of three rice varieties can be used: Arborio, carneroli, or vialone nano. One of my favorite risotto recipes, Risotto Rosso with Red Wine, Radicchio, and Smoked Mozzarella, comes from the Urban Italian cookbook, by Andrew Carmellini.

 

Chef Carmellini takes risotto seriously. In the book, he shares stories about differences between risotto cooked by his Italian American family and the risotto he learned while working in restaurants in the old country. His conclusion: everyone has their own opinion on the right way to make risotto. Chef Carmellini uses Arborio rice for a heavier winter risotto, like the recipe here, because it’s higher in starch and gives the risotto a rich, silky texture. Though the dish has a reputation for being labor-intense, and we picture hours spent stirring a pot, carefully ladling stock in a little at a time, this version can be on the table in less than half an hour. I found his method of pouring in half the stock at the beginning of the recipe, allowing the rice to completely absorb the liquid over about 7 minutes, then adding the other half of the stock to finish the risotto, yields the same results as carefully ladling in stock a little at a time.

 

Another tip I learned in Urban Italian is the importance of keeping your stock at a boil. Cooking risotto hot and stirring constantly is key to releasing starch from the rice. How do you know when the risotto is done? How do you identify that magical moment when balance between dry and soupy, undercooked and overcooked, has been achieved? The old Italian adage is that the risotto should move in waves, like the ocean, when stirred in the pot. Pourable but not soupy, is the way Alice Waters describes a finished risotto in Chez Panisse Vegetables. At this point, the risotto is taken off the heat and often doctored with butter and grated cheese. According to Chef Carmellini, this technique is called mantecare, and it’s essential for bringing the dish together.

 

Take what you’ve learned today and give Risotto Rosso with Red Wine, Radicchio, and Smoked Mozzarellaa try. The slightly bitter flavor of radicchio, a leafy red vegetable from the chicory family, is quintessentially Italian and happens to be in season right now. Red wine turns the rice a deep burgundy color that makes the dish feel special, even a little romantic. Smoked mozzarella melts beautifully into the rice, adding depth of flavor. It’s a hearty winter meal and a fine example of why risotto rice belongs in every pantry.




Risotto Rosso with Red Wine, Radicchio, and Smoked Mozzarella

from Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini

serves 4-6

Ingredients
  • 1 large head radicchio
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup port
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 pound smoked mozzarella
  • 1-ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Piave
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
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10 Ways Tuesday: Risotto Rice

 


I’ve got creative ideas for cooking risotto in winter:

 


1.  Wild Mushroom Risotto

Each year, as winter sets in, I turn to risotto. The first risotto I always make is Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas. Giada rehydrates porcini mushrooms in chicken broth, then uses the porcini infused broth to cook the Arborio rice. Fresh mushrooms are tossed in and white wine adds a bit of acidity to this earthy dish. At the last minute peas go in the pot for a bit of freshness and Parmesan finishes the risotto off. It’s a comforting tradition I look forward to every winter.

2.  Risotto Cakes & Balls

In Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis shares a couple of recipes for using leftover risotto. The first is Risotto al Salto (Rice Cake), which takes her leftover Wild Mushroom Risotto with Peas and forms it into a pancake shape, then crisps it up in a hot pan. The second is Arancini di Riso, or fried rice balls. Giada takes her leftover basic risotto and combines it with dried bread crumbs, eggs, and mozzarella before frying the balls in hot oil for a couple of minutes. Rice cakes and balls are great with a salad or soup.

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Ingredient of the Week: Risotto Rice

Risotto Rice (c)2012 LaDomestique.com

This week at la Domestique is dedicated to risotto rice, any of three varieties of medium-grain rice: Arborio, carnaroli, and vialone. These Italian rices have a plump, squat shape and are high in starch, which slowly releases during cooking, yielding a silky, creamy dish called risotto. Arborio rice is widely available, more affordable than the others, and makes a heavier risotto (which may be preferred in the winter months). Risotto made from carnaroli and vialone will have a lighter, delicate texture, which some feel is more refined. In the Gourmet Today Cookbook, editor Ruth Reichl describes risotto as “simultaneously simple and luxurious.” If you’ve got the rice in your pantry and a bit of stock, you’re only thirty minutes away from putting a creamy, filling one pot dish on the table. Once you’ve learned a basic risotto recipe, you can cook intuitively based on what’s on hand. Prepare a basic risotto, then fold in flavorings at the end. It’s a great way to use leftovers for a pantry supper. Tomorrow is 10 Ways Tuesday at la Domestique, and I’ve got plenty of creative ideas to inspire your next risotto.

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