So I quit my job. The one I’ve had since college. The one I’ve moved cities for three times. Two weeks from now (my birthday) will be my last day. Whoa.
Let’s do the bad news first:
-I’m moving away from DC
-I’m going to miss Kelsey and my friends here
-I won’t be living at the Kastle
-I am going to be in tons of training in the near future that will keep me from cooking my face off for a little while
-I’m moving back to Chicago
-I’m going to be by my family!
-I’m going to be by my friends!
-I will still be working in the food industry in a new/awesome way
-I needed to release some stress after putting in my resignation which leads us to…….
Yeah. I thought Lemon Risotto was therapeutic/calming to make. Then there was hummus… and it was good.
I know what you’re thinking… “oh so you shmushed some chickpeas and what not… what’s the big deal?”
Have you ever peeled a chickpea? Did you know you can? You can. It’s true. The “skin” around the chickpea gives hummus a grainy/watery texture. It is also a little bitter and the reason so many hummus’ are made with a ton of olive oil. When you peel these little suckers the hummus turns out THE MOST CREAMY EVER and you don’t even have to use olive oil (except for garnish if you just can’t imagine leaving it out).
Maybe this sounds batshit crazy to you. I adapted this recipe from SmittenKitchen and she claims that the whole peeling process took her nine minutes. I think it can be done in that time. But if you’ve just quit your job I would suggest taking a leisurely pace with a Barefoot Contessa show on in the background. It took me twenty minutes. Yeah I spent twenty minutes to ensure this hummus was like butter and to process everything I’d done that day. I’m not sorry about it. Tasted delicious.
So peel your 15 ounce can of chickpeas and reserve the liquid from the can. Basically you just pinch the chickpea between your thumb and pointer finger and the shell will pop right off.
Also, if you buy cheap chickpeas they’ll practically already look like hummus in the can and you can’t peel these nugs when they’re mushy. Pulse them for 60 seconds in your processor until they are powdery.
Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, two cloves garlic and 0.5 cups tahini. Puree. Salt to taste. You are almost at the world’s best hummus stage. With the processor running drizzle in 0.25 cups of the liquid from the chickpea can.
Okay game over. Amazing as is or with a drizzle of olive oil on top. I suggest letting this sit for as long as you can stand not eating it so the flavors can get going but I know that’s easier said than done. I’ll post my regs hummus recipe at some point for the days you don’t need a 30 minute chickpea peeling therapy but in the meantime think this one over.
I died for this meal. I mean scallops are too, too good. They are less expensive than many other fish, easy to work with and taste amazing in 238572035823 applications. Keep in mind scallops don’t start their lives at Whole Foods. They start in a shell in the ocean so if you or your friends have a shellfish allergy they have to pass on this dish (tragedy).
You can sear these in a sauté pan but they will blow your skull if you make them in a cast iron skillet. Rinse the scallops under cold water and then pat them BONE dry. Season them like you mean it with salt/pep. If there is any weird muscle on the side of the scallop remove it .
Heat your skillet on high heat . I put a tablespoon or so of butter in my skillet but you could do olive oil. Cook for 1.5 minutes on each side. You want the scallops to have a nice golden (roughly 0.25 inch) crust.
Now if you want to get real with this dish serve it with spinach and walnut pesto like we did. In a food processor (yeah we have one woo) pulse 2 cups of baby spinach (we used regs spinach because that’s what we had), 0.25 cups of walnuts (you could do pine nuts or almonds but we had walnuts so here we are), 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice (or more or less to taste), and 1 teaspoons lemon zest. With the machine running slowly add a third of a cup of olive oil. Add salt and pulse then stir in a third of a cup of parmesan cheese.
Okay I know the seafood gods/King Triton are mad at me because I am mixing cheese with seafood but the pesto is heavily flavored by the lemon and…well…. I guess I don’t have an excuse but hopefully they will give me a pass on this one. We shmeared some pesto on a plate, served the scallops on top with a side of Lemon Risotto. Stop but don’t stop this was so good.
Yesterday sucked. What even was the sheet of ice on the roads and the 6:45 am meeting I had an hour away? Did your day suck too? Do you need a mindless 25 minute activity to decompress and fill your tum?
Making risotto is too good. You have to care the first couple times you make it but after that you can make it over and over infinity different ways while being able to check out and calm yourself after a shit day. And at the end of a bad day what is better than what is essentially a fancy cheese/carb combo?
We made lemon risotto last night. You could easily add spring vegetables to make this a primavera, a handful of spinach, or sundried tomatoes. It’s DELICIOUS served solo or with a little chicken/fish. Giada hollows out some lemons and serves the risotto in them as an appetizer (she’s so wild) and Ina forms them into a patty and makes risotto cakes (she’s so awesome). It’s your world when it comes to risotto.
In a saucepan heat over medium low 6 cups of chicken stock (I only had 5 on hand so I added a cup of water and no on died). Heat on medium 1.5 tablespoons butter and 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Saute two diced shallots in this for 6 minutes until softened. Add two cups of Arborio rice (you can’t swap out the rice type- I’m watching you). Toast the rice for one minute and then add 0.25 cups of DRY white wine. Then drink this wine the remainder of making/devouring the risotto. Stir the rice with the wine for 30 seconds and then add 1.5 cups of the warm stock. Now the rest of this is really chill. You just stir the risotto constantly for 25 minutes. Every couple minutes (and every time the risotto looks like it is getting too dry) add 0.5 cups of stock. You want the rice to be cooked but still have some bite to it. Mushy risotto is for losers.
Okay that’s it. Now you could flavor it however you want but we added the juice from 1.5 lemons, the zest from 2 lemons, 1 cups of freshly grated parmesan, a small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and 1.5 tablespoons of butter . Yeah more butter. This is why risotto tastes so good at a restaurant. Don’t be janky just own it and add the extra butter.
So you literally just hovered over a carb pile for half an hour stirring/salivating/forgetting how much your day sucked. Don’t feel better?