green apple risotto

dinner

A month or two ago, at dinner at a friend’s house, we tasted an apple risotto for the first time. I had never heard or thought of such a thing before, but I can’t think why not. The risotto was served as a first course, with a small piece of seared foie gras on top, and it was astonishing. I don’t generally have foie gras on hand, but I thought that there must be other flavors that would go well with the risotto. I tried it out last night, making up the risotto recipe as I went, and serving it with seared kielbasa slices and some sauteed escarole with garlic.

shallot

All I did for the risotto was chop some shallot and saute it in butter…

green apple

…then I added diced Granny Smith apple…

green apple risotto

…then tossed in a cup or so of Arborio, sauteed it briefly, then ladled in chicken stock until everything was done. A bit of grated Parmesan finished it off. It was nice, although I couldn’t help feeling I might have preferred having the apple in large slices, simply seared in butter and served on the side. Also, the escarole (which I love) was perhaps too strong a flavor here, overwhelming the delicate apple (although it went splendidly with the smoky kielbasa). Live and learn; maybe next time I’ll try serving this with scallops. And maybe a pinch of fresh thyme in the risotto? We shall see.

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sloppy joe

sloppy joe

This wasn’t an unqualified success, but it was fun. I had never, ever made sloppy joes before, so it was a total experiment. Both of us being products of the public school system, we were each traumatized by the high school cafeteria version of this dish (there’s a reason I ate peanut butter sandwiches all through school). As I recall, it’s basically a cheap hamburger bun topped with bad spaghetti sauce – anyone else remember more details? Anyway, we had some sweet potato rolls left over and I thought it would be fun to top them with a sort of piquant ground beef sauce and let them get all soggy. And it was!

For the sauce, I sauteed an onion, mixed in a pound of ground beef from our previous cow (the new cow is in the freezer, but there’s still a bit left of the old one) and added a bit of Pendleton’s barbecue sauce. That tasted a little odd to me, so I added half a can of diced tomatoes, some fresh garlic and quite a bit of salt, and it came together pretty well (I think the garlic really did the trick). I cut the rolls in half, toasted them lightly, and dumped the sauce all over, with a bit of fresh sauteed spinach on the side. We opened a rich toasty Zinfandel. It was not at all like high school.