Monday, August 8, 2011

F is for Family

Starting out on our journey, we encountered Nora's Place.

Which is out daughter's name, so we had to eat there.

This engendered a discussion about an interesting road trip, based on visiting places with names of the significant people in your life. (What a concept for a blog. Dibs.)

And right in this area are the towns of Nora, Elizabeth, Free[port], and Dubuque, Iowa (named for Julien Dubuque). Covering my daughter, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and son.

F is also for friends, who lent us their beautiful house for the weekend. Their fully stocked kitchen had arborio rice, so we stopped at a local farmstand and picked up the goods to make this wonderful risotto.

Roasted fennel and onion risotto with fresh corn
1 medium fennel bulb with ferns
1 medium red onion
2 ears corn, nibletted
1 cup arborio rice
3-4 cups fennel-onion stock

salt and pepper to taste

Peel the onion, and cut the ferns and stems off the fennel. Reserve the ferns, and put the onion ends and skins and the fennel stems in 4-5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for ten minutes. Drain in a separate pot and keep it hot. Meantime, quarter the fennel bulb and the onion and roast in a 350/170 oven for 40 minutes, then chop roughly.

To make the rice, heat the pot and cover the bottom of a 2 quart pot with olive oil, add the corn and rice and toast it for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and stir until it is completely absorbed. Continuing to add stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting it absorb completely each time. After about two cups, add the roasted vegetables, and continue adding stock until it is all absorbed. This can take 30 or more minutes. You may have some liquid left over.

When done, turn off the heat, cover and allow the rice to "rest" for about ten minutes. Serve with freshly grated cheese.

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