Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Damn You, Murphy!

Something is wrong. Something is off.
Something is WRONG and OFF.

For the past week or so, for some inexplicable reason, I have been a walking, talking, breathing (cursing, fumbling), tribute to Murphy's Law. You name it, I botched it. My projects at work? Disasters. Something obstructing a path? It's very likely I tripped over it. Something burning-metal hot? I touched it. Something important that needed to be done? I totally forgot about it.

The worst part about all of this is the fact that I can't sleep. I don't know if swirling neurotic thoughts about my work disasters are the culprit for keeping me conscious when I should be pleasantly unconscious, or if it's that damn Murphy, but whatever it is, it feels very apocalyptic. Yes. Apocalyptic. I'll explain: sleeping is what I do. I can always sleep, no matter what. Uncomfortable mattress? Not a problem. Thunderstorm? Kid's stuff. If left to my own devices, I think I would actually sleep for days on end. I'm that good. I don't do very many things well, but sleeping - let's just say if it were an Olympic sport, I'd be preparing my trip to Vancouver as we speak (and yes, sleeping would have to be a winter sport. No question). Not sleeping troubles me. I lay awake, troubled by this. Which further provokes insomnia. It's not pretty.

I've been avoiding my kitchen for fear that I'll continue to burn or cut myself worse than I already have, finding respite in writing holiday cards instead (for some reason, that has not gone wrong. As far as I know. And I'd like to keep it that way). Eventually my love will overcome the fear and I'll make my way back to the kitchen. I just hope it's sooner rather than later, otherwise... "Honey? Are these Christmas Cookies? You know it's February, right?"

One thing that will help get me through to the other side is the memory of the last meal I executed gracefully just before the moment Murphy swept into my life. It was a surprise for my husband's birthday: Truffled Lobster Risotto. He came home from work at 9:30 p.m. only to inform me that he already had a holiday dinner with his co-workers and forgot to tell me. Two night's later, I tried another special dinner to make up for the missed opportunity, only to absolutely destroy the Bearnaise sauce (and it was looking like it was going to be my best EVER!). It was such a sad moment. Only a split second was all it took for the sauce to separate, and then there was no saving it. I haven't cooked anything more than boiled noodles since.

Recipe for Truffled Lobster Risotto:

The beauty of this dish is that it seems very elegant, but it's super-duper easy. Even for those afflicted by Murphy's Law.
  • One 1 lb. Cooked Lobster, meat pulled out and chopped into bite-sized pieces (save the shells from the claws and tail)
  • 1 cup of Arborio rice
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of white wine
  • 7-8 stalks of asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 1-2" pieces
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 tsp truffle oil
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • Shaved truffle for finishing (if you are lucky enough to have a fresh truffle. If not, no worries)
  • Fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese for finishing
  • Salt & pepper
After you dismantle your lobster, keep the meat in the fridge, and save the claw and tail shells. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a small saucepan. Make a "cheater's lobster stock" by adding the claw and tail shell to the simmering chicken stock, and let it simmer slowly while you prep the rest of your ingredients. In a risotto pan or heavy fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the shallots and asparagus. Season with salt & pepper and toss for a few minutes, until cooked and softened. Remove the asparagus with tongs before they get too soft, and set aside for later. Drizzle 2 tsp of truffle oil in pan and add the risotto. Stir it around for several minutes until toasted. Add the wine, and continue stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Strain the chicken stock and discard the shells. You should have about 2 and 1/2 cups of stock. As you continue stirring, add the stock to the risotto 1/2 cup at a time, and stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. When 1/2 cup gets absorbed, repeat the process until risotto is al dente. Finish by adding the asparagus back in, and stir in the lobster meat, the cream, and the remaining 2 tsp of truffle oil. Serve topped with truffle shavings (if you have them) and parmigiano reggiano cheese.


Jessica said...

Alright, so I've looked over your blog. It's great. I love the way you talk, you remind me of Charlotte on "Sex & the City" and Emeril. I am inspired to try your "Sin-a-mon" rolls. I think you will go far. Thank you for your blog. Don't stop. You are a natural.

Veronica said...

Wow. I mean, WOW.. Thank you!