Traveling so much these past few months has sort of turned into an amusing social study of myself and my fellow travelers. Nothing like getting stuck a airport to reflect, notice, smile or get a few eye rolls going. I have noticed that my patience has no limits going somewhere. As if I were not really in a rush to leave home and slowly making my way to my new destination. On the other hand, that same patience runs thin when I am getting home. I want to be home and I can't wait to be there. The time in between? The time I am working, shooting or teaching? I love it! I get fully immersed into it and don't see it go by.
I just got back from shooting a first set if pictures for Le Cordon Bleu's upcoming cookbook this past Sunday and I am writing this post from the airport. Yep, a short 48 hours home and I am heading to New Hampshire to teach a couple of workshops. After that, I will be heading to Birmingham with a first load of boxes to find a house (leads look good) , then it's back to shoot Le Cordon Bleu for another week. From there, I will fly directly back to Birmingham for my first day at Oxmoor House.
I thrive on busy. I can even thrive on crazy. This is a bit insane. But, we are aware this is only temporary insanity and that a certain discomfort must take place. All these years of working toward a goal...not about to let a little crazy get in the way...! I smile thinking that one of the chefs at Le Cordon Bleu nicknamed me Le Courant D'Air....The Draft. Too bad it does not come with flying superpowers...
I think the trick to it all, beside hard work, is also to be organized. Bill and I took a big calendar and started mapping routes, airplane rides, car rides, days in, days out, hangouts with friends, dinners, dates...everything went in. I started making a separate map. I know that when I get home, he is super happy to have me back in the kitchen humming and cooking something simple and comforting. Something that tells him that I know I am gone often lately and that I appreciate his mending the fort. So, while at airports or on airplanes, I map out meals. The ones I am going to leave for him for while I am gone, and the ones I will make the day I get home.
This risotto came out of a combined desire for the comfort of slow cooked rice and the need to use up the chanterelles I could not resist getting at the farmers market. The lobster? A couple of extra tails from a shoot which were the perfect little something to say you're special. It turned out to be the perfect way for us to reconnect in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
A comforting dish, a glass of wine and a good conversation. My idea of a lovely time.
Chanterelles and Lobster Risotto
Notes: I like to stop adding all the liquid before the end as I like my risotto on the drier side, meaning not as creamy as you would usually see it. I really like the firm bite that it provides by doing so while respecting the cooking method of traditional risotto. If you like it creamy smooth, add all the liquid, if not stop before adding the last cup or so of liquid.
2 medium lobster tails
4 1/2 cups seafood stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound chanterelles, scrubbed clean and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Fill a large stockpot with water, add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the lobster tails and boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until their flesh turns white. Remove from the water, drain and let cool for about 15 minutes. With kitchen sheers, cut the shells open lenghthwise and remove the flesh. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
In a medium saucepan, bring the seafood stock to a boil and keep to a low simmer.
In the meantime, heat the butter in a large skillet. Add the mushroom and cook until tender, about 5-8 minutes, add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes. Add the white wine and rice and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup of stock and cook until the liquid is absorbed again. Keep adding the stock to the rice mixture, 1/2 cup at a time until the rice is cooked but still a little firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. I don't like mine gooey or too creamy so I stop a little before and keep it on the drier side.
Stir in the lobster tails and cook for just a minute. Serve into big bowls and garnish with fresh chopped chives.