I was off in a shopping centre looking for some walking shoes, and thought about buying some lunch. I preferred not to, and instead wandered into the supermarket where I bought a nice looking eggplant, a punnet of blueberries, an onion, a potato and some rosemary. I felt quite virtuous queuing up at the checkout, with my real food, especially looking at some of the processed crap other shoppers had selected for themselves.
Lunch was blueberries followed by baked eggplant slices and a rosemary, onion and potato frittata, cooked carefully with my specially bought non-stick frypan. It is true you only need two tablespoons of oil when you have a non-stick pan. It set more than my prior effort, although it was perhaps not quite as delicious not being as creamy. It was still quickly devoured and appreciated and will be cooked again. It looked more like a frittata should.
I managed to go for a reasonably long walk around the mountain with my new shoes, and as it started getting dark I dreamt of risotto for dinner. Although I had not shopped for any special ingredients I knew I had precious meat broth in the freezer. I started this on my return, and as I was cooking for three I also attempted a pasta sauce. I spotted a red capsicum, which I dutifully peeled and then cooked with onion, garlic, chili flakes, canned tomatoes and, as a last minute addition, olives.
And so dinner was butter and parmesan risotto, which was a triumph, followed by a competent pasta that was made sweet by the capsicum and given some intrigue by the olives and chili.
Not a bad dinner given I had not shopped for it and on first glance there was nothing in the house.
One thing I have noticed about Hazan risotto, when cooked with real parmesan and real meat broth, is that people are absolutely stunned the first time they eat it, as I was. I suspect they have never eaten risotto like it in their lives, and perhaps feel differently about all of the tired, packet stocked, chicken breast ridden travesties they have cooked proudly for themselves following recipes of dubious origins.
I had lunch the other day with a client at what I consider to be the best restaurant in town. He told me he often cooked risotto, and had in fact just cooked it the night before - from a packet. It just had to be heated up.
I told him Marcella would not approve.