I've often seen risotto cooked but never managed it all the way by myself until tonight. In support of Australian hog farmers (pictured in great distress, holding sweet little piglets, on the front of today's Sydney Morning Herald) I have added bacon to our usual recipe.
A few chicken breasts
[All of the preceding cut in pieces, with fat removed if appropriate]
2 liters of packaged chicken stock
3 cups of arborio rice
Parmesan cheese (grated)
Oil of your choice
Seasonings of your choice
Maybe a splash of cream?
In a big pan on the stove, cook the chicken pieces with garlic and a bit of onion; set aside. Then cook the mushrooms; season to taste and set aside. Now put in bacon and the rest of the garlic and onion, and some oil; cook/fry this until the bacon is done and the onion is cooked as well. Pour in the rice and stir/cook until the rice is translucent.
Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Once the rice is clear, add the stock to the rice mixture gradually, stirring constantly, trying to get the flavour of the stock (and bacon and garlic and onion) into the rice. Stir and cook until the liquid is absorbed, then add some more. When the rice has expanded and turned white again and the liquid is almost completely absorbed, put the chicken and mushrooms back in the pan... [At this point I called my friend and she stirred in a splash of cream and then we served it, with a dusting of grated parmesan on top.]
Pikelets are small pancakes that Australians enjoy with their daily tea breaks. You can make savoury or sweet pikelets. The pikelets this recipe makes are a bit sweet, so better with sweet toppings (usually cream and jam, or butter and sprinkles, which in Australia are called "hundreds and thousands").
Note: Aussie measurements (1 cup = 250 ml). Makes 10-20 pikelets depending on size.
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1/4 cup raw sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
splash of regular milk (any fat content)
Sift flour into bowl and mix in sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and put in the egg and buttermilk. Gradually stir until all dry ingredients are moistened and then beat until smooth. Add splashes of regular milk until the mixture is the right consistency to be poured onto a griddle (or into a frying pan). (Mixture will thicken while standing and so you may have to add more milk before pouring each batch.)
Drop tablespoonfuls of mixture onto a hot greased pan or griddle; when bubbles appear on top (and stay after popping), flip them to cook the other side, then lay onto a rack to cool. (Or eat them warm!)
Sun Drop is a sweet soft drink, but if you can't get a can of the real thing, you can substitute 7Up or Sprite - but not the diet versions. It's apparently best if you slightly undercook this cake before drizzling on the icing, because this makes the cake stay ultra moist. (As if humidity wouldn't keep it moist! - but I digress.)
US measurements; Aussies note that "pudding" means the creamy kind only.
part 1: Cake
1 box of lemon cake mix (any kind) 1 small box of instant lemon pudding (any kind) 3/4 c. cooking oil 3 eggs, beaten 1 can (12 oz.) Sun Drop, 7Up, or Sprite
Mix all ingredients together and bake in a Bundt, kugel, or similar ringed cake pan at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. (This recipe doesn't say but depending on your pan you may wish to butter/flour it first.) Cool slightly and remove from pan.
part 2: Icing
1 cup confectioners' sugar 2 Tbsp. water 2 tsp. lemon extract
Mix ingredients together and pour over top of cake. Slice and serve.