Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Buon appetite! (il mio italiano è orribile.)

I think risotto will be my food of 2009. The food I crave, the food that will cure my pain, bring a smile to my face and warmth into my heart. No, really!

My love of this dish began pretty late in my life. Two winters ago, my mom took me on a birthday trip to Hershey Pennsylvania and to Hyde Park, New York where I toured the Culinary Institute of America. We ate at two of the school's restaurants and I remember ordering risotto dishes twice. Both were perfect as far as I was concerned. Rich. Perfectly cooked. A meal within itself. I should hope so- it IS the CIA. 

I did not eat any risotto while in Italy as it was not a food of Tuscany. 

Fast forward to 2009. 

This is Cavason.  (the human)
Congratulations Cavason, you have made it on to my list of all time favorite foods!!

Cavason whipped me up some artichoke risotto with salmon (maybe?) Obviously the fish wasn't that important (although it was good).... my mind, taste buds, and stummy were melting away with the risotto. 

Next day. 

I not-so-subtly hinted at being hungry *cough* risotto leftovers *cough*. 
Cavason worked his magic again- making the risotto dish that deserves a spot on my list. It had chicken. and the artichoke heart risotto from before. and cheese grated on top. I'm not sure what other magic was in it, but I felt completely warm inside eating it. Like everything was alright in the world. As far as I'm concerned,  a good comfort food should do that. If I hadn't made myself an absurdly rich cup of hot cocoa before eating this creamy concoction, I could have eaten my weight in the stuff. And then promptly explode. But I'd be a happy explosion. 

And that brings us to Today:

I found red pepper leek BOXED risotto at Target of all places. Their lovely Archer Farms brand. Apparently the four cheese variety was recalled a while back. This doesn't concern me. 
So today as I was craving the chickeny cheesey goodness that was Cavason's risotto, and since it was not available I decided to give this boxed version a shot. 
I added the suggested butter.. Maaaaybe a little extra. And grated some of that three milk cheese from the Wheatesville (which I can not think of the name and it's driving me mad) on top. And I must say it was sooooooo good. Two giant-sized thumbs way up. As far as boxed meals go, and risotto at that, I would take this to making my own any day. (Shhhh, don't tell)
But given the choice, I still prefer the chicken homemade variety I had the pleasure of enjoying the other night.  Big thanks to the chef... you can make it for me any time you'd like. 

My belly is smiling. Make yours smile too!

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