May. 5th, 2014

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Well that was interesting. There's no photo of this, nor should there be. This was one of the single least photogenic and more long-winded things I've ever made but I don't think that'll put me off having another go.

I made stock the other day. It probably doesn't matter too much what sort of vegetables go into the stock but for the record, this one had a lot of pumpkin, celery and fennel through it as well as quite a bit of spring onion so although the flavour was fairly delicate, it still had a definite character. I have no idea how much liquid risotto takes so I always always underestimate it. I put a bit over a litre of the stock into a saucepan and wrapped a couple of hundred grams of almond meal in a cloth with some freshly grated nutmeg, tied that closed and put that in the pan with the stock over a gentle heat, mooshing it about with a wooden spoon every so often.

Into my cast iron pot went some olive oil, two leeks, four cloves of garlic more grated nutmeg and some ground sage because I spotted it in the cupboard and it seemed like a good idea. I cooked that down until it was soft and swimming a bit in its own juices and added four portobello caps chopped small, a generous pout of balsalmic vinegar and a fairly random amount of brown rice. By that time the stock was nicely creamy so I removed the clothful of meal, squeezed it out and put it aside (in a jug in this case) and started ladling the stock in. One ladleful at a time stirred through and allowed to cook in until to no longer runs freely across the bottom of the pot if I clear a space with the wooden spoon. Yes, this takes a while, especially with brown rice but I wasn't in a hurry. By the time I was close to emptying the saucepan it was clear that I was going to need that much again so I put about another litre of stock in and returned the cloth to the pan as well. More ladling, more stirring. Near the end I just crumbled the wedge of blue cheese in, added the rest of the stock, stirred it into a gooey mess and let it sit on a very low heat for a while. I like this one a lot. The cheese was a bit over the top but I didn't mind that myself. Less would have been more balanced.

I ate the lot.

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