Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

I took a trip to Seomun market last weekend and in amongst the chickens, kittens and bunnies awaiting their peril I found some fresh peas. I really love to shell peas; I used to spend a week each August hunkered over a five gallon bucket of pods, cracking them open and dumping out the goods. Unfortunately the peas I got were overripe and dry, and I got a horrified bug-eyed stare from a grandpa when he saw me eating the peas straight out of the pod. Crazy foreigner, eating raw peas!

Anyway, I used the peas to make a 'spring-y' risotto. Risotto can be intimidating, but it's really not so difficult and is a really welcomed change from steamed rice, steamed rice, steamed rice.

Here's the deal:

- Heat a few tablespoons of oil (or butter) in the bottom of a pot. Add some chopped onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add your rice and stir to make sure each grain gets coated in oil.

- At this point you can add a couple glugs of white wine. If you're Amish, or if you've accidentally drank all your wine while waiting for step one to finish, you can skip straight to the broth.

- Your broth (chicken or veggie) should be warm and you should add it only 1 or 2 ladle-fuls at a time, stirring gently in between until it's absorbed.

- Repeat, repeat, repeat until the rice is tender, but still slightly firm. At this point add one more ladle-ful and your veggies. I used peas, chives and basil, but you can use virtually anything. Except turnips. Please don't use turnips, they smell like farts.

- Finish it off with a boat load of parmesean. Or, you know, a reasonable amount.

I served this with some shoddy pork cutlets (I'm still trying to use up those unfortunate pieces of pork). If you do find a nice piece of meat here's what I did:

- Slap your meat down in between two pieces of saran wrap that are bigger than the meat.

- Get a weapon. I used a rolling pin, but if you have a hammer, or a baseball bat, or a rage problem you can use that too.

- Pound it. Smack it out until it's pretty thin, and evenly so.

- Bread it. Dip in beeaten eggs, then flour, then breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are hard to find here, but I have a solution: toast a piece of bread then run it through the fine setting of the cheese grater. When you get down to raw bread throw it back in the toaster and repeat.

- Fry, fry, fry. Just a couple of tbsp's of oil and a minute or two on each side and you're done.

The green stuff at the back is a 'salad'. Eat that at your own discretion.

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