Saturday, October 9, 2010

How to Open a Bottle of Red, SON!

You may recall that after our first date with Project Food Blog went well, I promised all of my voters a French kiss.  Well here we are, after a successful 3rd date, and I think you’ve earned yourself a trip to second base, my friends.   Thank you for continuing to read and vote for my silly kitchen blog, and a congratulatory tip of the hat to you all!  

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to show you with this post.  To go above and beyond to construct a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to execute a dish.  Well, I feel we should start at the beginning.  The beginning of every important dish, life decision, good and bad choice, and rip roarin’ good time.  HOW TO OPEN A BOTTLE OF RED, SON.  

Sing  it with me to tune of the peanut butter and jelly song, all together now! 

First you take the foil and ya cut it, ya cut it!



And then ya take the cork and ya screw it, ya screw it!



RED WINE, RE-ED WI-INE and Whitney!  BFF’s from the start of adult life!


Don’t forget to share with your friends, and let the good times roll!

Did you honestly think I would be in a league with 99 of the most up and coming food bloggers and leave you with a tutorial like that?  I mean I wouldn’t put it past me, but we will try a little harder than that!  See, that previous tutorial is in fact the first step of the dish I am sharing with you today, so it was only appropriate that I teach you my favorite pastime.  

I truly wanted to share something valuable with you, and empower you to make something that for some strange reason causes anxiety for newbies and seasoned cooks alike in the kitchen.  Risotto.  AHH the fine art of risotto! News flash, it’s EASY.  And I have just given you some steps to make it easier already because at this point you should have a glass of red wine in your hand.  So you’re welcome. And a-here we go.
Short Ribs braised in Red Wine, and a Bordeaux Risotto with asparagus. Boom.  I know I just rocked your world.  Try not to get tears in your wine.
First things first, admire that fatty piece of short rib you picked up from Butcher Nick at whole foods.


WOOwee! Look at the marble on that cow! I would like to thank you for being kept from moving your entire life, dear cow, because here you are in my kitchen making miracles.  (Too far? Oh, my b…)



Get 2 tablespoons of olive oil heating in your heavy bottomed (preferably dutch oven) pot while you generously salt, pepper, and flour your short ribs.



Make sure to get the ribs nice and coated with the flour and shake off any excess.  When the pan is good and hot, sear those puppies on all sides.


You want the oil to bubble like this when you put in your ribs, and you don’t want to turn them until they look like this.


While those are doin’ work in your dutch, you need to tend to your flavor savors.  The vegetables.  Once cut and put in the pan, these vegetables are going to soak up every bit of that flavor and it’s going to be epic.
So, you rinse them, you chop them, you love them.  Those are the actual scientific steps. (when in doubt pour yourself more red wine.)  Here you’ll be cutting 1 leek, 3carrots, and 2 onions into a rough chop.  Doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t stress about this.










(the evolution of an onion)

Smash 3 garlic cloves and remove the skin, and give it a rough chop as well.  Once again, this is for flavor not for looks.




After you have seared all sides of your short ribs, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate for later.  Put your leeks, carrots, onion and garlic into the dutch, and let them cook over medium heat until they begin to sweat, and release their magical aroma.  Yes, I just said that.


 Once they start to look like this, it’s business time.  Add ¾ of a bottle of red wine, and stir, scraping up those brown pieces in the bottom of your dutch.


Add 3 cups of stock (really any stock of your choice, but you’re cooking with beef here so that’s an obvious flavor choice.)  and then replace the short ribs and any released juices (BHAHAH I am sorr, I can’t help it) back into the pot.


 Salt and Pepper really well, and put the lid on your pot. Place them in a 350 degree oven for 3 yes, 3 hours. Don’t even LOOK at those ribs for the first 2 hours.
When you have about 30 minutes left to go on your short ribs (you’ll know because they will be falling off the bone at this point) it is time to start your risotto.  Here is what you need to know about risotto.  Have you ever babysat an infant?  Do you remember the feeling of needing to watch what it was constantly doing? Making sure it was comfy and still breathing?
Well, then you know how to make risotto.  Just stand there, and watch it.  You’ll know when it’s ready for more liquid. Still nervous?  I’ll show you.
First things first, in the same manner that you chopped the onions and garlic for the short ribs, do it again with 1 small onion and 2 cloves of garlic, only this time, make it a dice instead.  (This just means make the pieces smaller, kids.)


Heat 6 cups of stock (your choice) in a pan on low heat, and heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate high sided pan, and cook down your garlic and onion, once again, until they release their liquids and start to smell like a happy little Italian moved in next door.


Then you want to add 1 cup of risotto to the pan.  Keep it moving with a wooden spoon, until it turns slightly translucent and smells nutty.  That is your cue that it’s time for liquid.  (this should take 1-2 minutes)


Add ½ cup of red wine to the pan, stirring slowly and constantly until the risotto has absorbed the liquid and looks like this.



Add ½ a cup of the warmed stock, and continue to stir, until once again, the risotto has absorbed the liquid and add another ½ cup of stock.


Continue this process of adding liquid, cooking it out and stirring, and adding more.  Each time you repeat this step it should get progressively more creamy.  It should take 18-22 minutes to completely cook the risotto, and you are looking for a creamy consistency, with a soft risotto that has the slightest firm give in the center. When you are about 5 minutes out, add some chopped asparagus.


 When it’s done, remove it from the heat, and add liberal amounts of salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of thyme, and ½ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese.   Stir until combined and it is ready to be chowed.
For a little something extra, right before you start your risotto, wrap some asparagus in strips of thawed puff pastry, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  You can bake it off for 20 minutes at 350, and it will be ready when your risotto is done.




And all that started, with simply opening a bottle of red wine.



Voting opens Monday, as always, I will remind you, a babillion times.

Love,

Whit


55 comments:

  1. Excellent tutorial, Whit! I agree...risotto isn't hard to make, you just have to be patient and have a strong stirring arm! I received some home-grown saffron from Italy in the mail last week, so I made risotto alla milanese last night. Recipe on my blog if you want another recipe for your arsenal. Best of luck in Round 4...you know you've got my vote!!

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  2. I ate this, and I'm tellin you it was GREAT!

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  3. Congrats Congrats going onto challenge #4!!! Must be exciting for you! Good luck and all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to you! You'll be getting the next vote from me :) Your awesome!

    Have a happy thanksgiving!
    jen @ www.passion4food.ca

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  4. Whitney - It looks amazing!!! I love the pictures!

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  5. Congrats! I love reading all your blog posts..It's a feast for the eyes and pretty entertaining! Best of luck :)

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  6. Excellent. Congrats on moving forward.

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  7. Beautiful risotto with red wine, loved the asparagus idea. Looks great.

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  8. Asparagus idea was awesome!!! I'm glad you went for something a little more complicated, that's the stuff we come to the blogs to learn!! Thanks!

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  9. Congrats on making it to level 4- this is a great photo-tutorial, and the final result is mouth-watering. I love your writing style- seems like being at your table would be blast!!

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  10. Found your blog through the Project Food Blog challenge. Great stuff, fun writing, and excellent photos. Continued success to you!

    This meal looks incredible. I have never had a risotto with red wine before. I will need to try that this fall. Keep up the great work with your blog!

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  11. I'm going to have to try your short-rib recipe - I've only done them once, and they were a bit of a disaster. Yours look wonderful. Congrats on advancing, and best of luck in this round!

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  12. I laughed, I cried, I sent my husband to the store for a bottle of wine...

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  13. Hey Whitney,

    nice job, sister! wow. Love the risotto with the red wine, I've never tried that. love your writing and your great attitude. such a fun read!

    thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comment and hope to see ya in the next round!

    cheers!

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  14. hey Whitney, i just found your awesome blog! (yes, the wine drew me in.) it's funny because here in Australia, screw caps are very (very) common. no taboo at all! (and so much less effort.) looking forward to reading more :)

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  15. I'm gonna print this out. laminate it, and take it to every restaurant I visit in China (the wine bit, although I might just go ahead and laminate the whole thing, it looks so delicious). Then when some poor guy is trying to open a bottle of Great Wall Red with his knees, or a chopstick, or with the power of feng shui, but not with a corkscrew, I can just show him your step-by-step guide. THANK YOU! And good luck!

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  16. You had me going good with the wine. I was thinking wow she is daring, but probably would have advanced with that alone! Great pictorial post!

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  17. I think the red wine tutorial is clever (well actually brilliant) but if you have a braised Ace in the hole why not play that too, right? GREG

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  18. BEST POST EVARRRRR!!! LOVE IT!

    Also, these pictures make it look so easy! And you know I love that you are cookin' with the red sauce!

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  19. quite a feast of a dish!!!

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  20. You crack us up! I'm gonna go open a bottle of red son!

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  21. You're a funny one Whitney! And to top off a wise crack like that with such a gorgeous dish, you've certainly got taste!
    ~Mary

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  22. I justed voted for you - love the picture of you and the cat with the wine!!

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  23. Great post, as usual! Those pastry wrapped asparagus are genius! And your tutorial is really well done. Very clear and easy to follow. nicely done. I voted for you again!

    Good luck! hope to see us both in round 5!!! =)

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  24. I was good with the wine part alone. Lol. Love Kitty getting own big glass.
    I voted for ya and Tweeted it. Good luck!!

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  25. Your short ribs looked delectable! Great entry! (VOTE!) Good luck to you!

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  26. Great post, but you had my vote at the beginning when I saw a cat with a glass of wine! LOL!

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  27. Came for the red wine... stayed for the recipe. Nice work :)

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  28. I'm glad you added the delicious-looking short ribs to your post, but I was going to totally vote for you by virtue of your cute cat!

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  29. Ok, I'll admit I was saying what the hay with the wine tutorial, but knew you wouldn't let us down! Great job!

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  30. from a simple opening of red wine to a wonderful risotto. you got my vote

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  31. Fantastic presentation! So elegant and gourmet!

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  32. I sent a little red heart your way - Good luck with challenge 4!

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  33. OMG, see the red wine tutorial would've been my WHOLE blog post, LOLOLOL! Had me fooled :D Cheers, this is a great post, just voted...

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  34. A terrific tutorial, and a delicious dish too! Will vote!

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  35. You make laugh! And this meal makes me drool...looks like it would make my belly very, very happy. Cheers!! :)

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  36. Looks wonderful! Love your helpful kitty. :)

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  37. Ahhh, so *that's* what happens when you open a bottle of red :D I am feeling wonderfully enlightened on the subject now (not sure if it's the blog post or the, umm, wine I just had to open, hic!)

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  38. Wow! You're awesome. I hate when people refuse to make risotto because it's "too hard." You just showed that it's totally approachable... In fact, you went way above and beyond the typical risotto. Of course, I love the first part of your post, too :)

    Sues

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  39. I think I'm going to start using "doin' work in your dutch" from now on. In as many possible situations. You had me scared at the beginning of this post, I thought you had thrown in the towel. You clearly did not. Good luck this week, voting for you!

    Lick My Spoon

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  40. Girl, you are killing me with the wine and beef. You have such a fun blog. You have my vote (as always) and *clink* cheers!

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  41. I totally thought when I first saw this post you actually did a post on how to open a bottle of wine! haha Great job lady and hope we both make it to the next round! Voted!

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  42. Excellent post - you got my vote for this! Good luck :) Feel free to hop over to leave a comment :)

    Have a wonderful day!
    jen @ www.passion4food.ca

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  43. Thanks for the comment!! That meal looks delicious! You can have my kitchen if you cook for me ;-)

    The Young Foodie

    www.theyoungfoodie.blogspot.com

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  44. This looks awesome and the post is so adorable! I see that you are going to San Francisco for FoodBuzz. I shall see you there. Oh, and you get a vote, too!

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  45. OK, now I have the peanut butter jelly song stuck in my head...but it is totally worth it for this post! You've got my vote!

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  46. You are a funny girl----I was thinking "what the" after the wine thing in the beginning.
    Excellent step-by-step. What I love about this contest is finding new blogs to read, like yours!
    Best of luck!

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  47. Dear everyone, i flove you. Thank you so much for your kind words! Don't trust the cat, she is a hussie and tries to steal my wine at any chance possible. You guys make my day! now go do work in your dutch.

    Love,

    Whit

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  48. Love your blog! Your post makes me hungry and, maybe, possibly, inspired to cook!

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  49. This is just my type of dinner, especailly for these cold (almost winter) nights here...Congrats & good luck!

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  50. Clever my dear and nice dish tutorial, voted

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  51. I thought this was great tutorial from start to finish! You definitely have my vote!

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  52. Just great! Love from start to finish :)

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  53. Hi Whitney - "amuse" you do! Good luck, happy to give my vote, SON!
    LL

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  54. Great tutorial, I especially loved the evolution of an onion pic. :) Good luck in round 4!

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