Hello, young Padawan
I heard your desperation, that you have trouble finding what you need to make this or that recipe from the blog these days because people bought all the toilet paper (wait, what’s the connection?!! ed) and the shelves are empty (aw, ok!). And even if you are at home, your days are too busy to spend lots of time in the kitchen every day, between teleworking and school for the kids.
Two things. First, each recipe can be adapted with seasonal ingredients, frozen foods, what you have in your cupboards or your fridge, your inspiration or what you can find in your trader Joe’s these days, which shelves are as nude as a Victoria’s Secret ad. Second, you can cook more quantity, so that 30 minutes spent in the kitchen serve you four meals. Then you freeze it, so as not to demoralize the troops eating the same thing all week.
That said and because I don’t want to leave without an example, here is a recipe of my green asparagus risotto, without asparagus and without 3/4 of the ingredients because I didn’t have them by me today and it was no way to go out just for that. #staythef*ckhome
I only had four ingredients to make it, and believe me, we really enjoyed it like at Bocuse’s, or Ramsay’s (or almost! Lol, your faithful servant is always very enthusiastic, ed). Well, you’ll still need at least risotto rice, but good news: this rice is neither pasta nor toilet paper, and in addition, it is Italian: so you are therefore likely to find it! #badumtsss
Don’t you have leeks at home? You may have an old pumpkin from the end of the season, or you may have found three poor zucchini dueling in the bottom of your vegetable bin with some shallots, or an old bag of mushrooms in your freezer. Open your cupboard you may find dehydrated mushrooms there, what?! … morels?!! Oh, lucky guy !!
In short, you do with what you have. Here, we are doing a masterpiece, quarantine or not.
Risotto of the resourcefulness in 4 ingredients (or almost)
For 3 servings
1 cup risotto rice (Arborio, Carnaroli …)
2 leeks (or the vegetables you will find in the bottom of your fridge or freezer)
Half a cube of vegetable broth
Frozen minced parsley
In your cupboard for sure:
Salt (possibly, because the broth is often already salted)
Pepper (from Madagascar, my favorite!)
Optional: malted yeast, which I always have in my cupboards as well as salt or pepper.
Wash the leeks and cut the few pieces that are too green or not tender enough and put them in the refrigerator for a future soup.
Slice the leeks lengthwise and finely chop them. In a wok, sauté over low heat with a tablespoon of olive oil for 5-7 min.
Meanwhile, heat 4 cups of water using a kettle or saucepan (You won’t need all the water, but it’s easier to have enough …).
Stir the leeks regularly, then add the rice, stir again and cook for 2-3 min. When the rice starts to be transparent, cover everything with boiling water. Be careful not to drown them either, just cover the rice and vegetables. Add the vegetable broth, stir once and cook over low heat.
After 5-7 minutes, stir gently so that the rice cooks evenly, then when you start to slowly approach the cooking time indicated on your rice packet, which is generally between 15 and 20 minutes in total (mine is 18), check regularly that it is not time to add a little more hot water. If this is the case, do not cover everything but just wet the bottom of the wok and stir regularly.
Turn off the heat when the rice is al dente (it should not be soft, because soft = overcooked, ed), add (if you have it) two or three tablespoons of malted yeast, pepper, control the taste and salt if necessary (watch out for the vegetable broth which is already salted). Add the parsley, stir one last time, gently.
In your most beautiful deep plates, arrange a few spoons of your splendid risotto. Look in your fridge if you could not, by any chance, accompany it with a piece of salad, or little raw vegetables, for vitamins … otherwise, we will catch up with fruit for dessert, for example, no worry.
The final touch: here a sprig of fennel. You can maybe find some sesame seeds, a pinch of turmeric powder, a basil leaf, or whatever you can, to put the “cherry on the cake”, to bring the little decoration. You will have given everything to do something nice, bravo.
And here you are, you managed to make new with old things from the cupboard, super tasty with super simple ingredients. Your guests can call you chef, you’ve managed to delight them with almost nothing, and that’s a lot!