Follow me through the adventures that take place in my kitchen, in restaurants or in other kitchens. Cooking and food are my passions and I want to share my experiences of cooking, baking and eating with you.
I'm a Greek self-taught cook who lives in Chicago. I learned a lot about cooking from both of my grandmothers, my mom and dad, family and friends. Passing on timeless traditions through food is one thing I strive to do in life.
These are my journeys through culinary exploration...
clraptis (at) gmail (dot) com
My first attempt at making risotto was definitely worth all the work. It’s not that it’s even difficult to make, it’s just time-consuming and I got VERY impatient. Despite all the mixed feelings during the cooking process (and the sore arm from constant stirring) I was extremely pleased with the outcome. Rich tomato flavor meets the creamy succulence of the self-producing “sauce” in this extra starchy rice.
Risotto is one of those great blank canvases of cooking. Once you learn get a good grip on that base recipe, you can add many different proteins, veggies and spices to create your own dish. I was inspired by this recipe, but didn’t need 6 servings - so I just followed the “Milanese style” risotto recipe on the bag of arborio rice I picked up from the store and added in my twists. Here is how it turned out:
INGREDIENTS: 2 T. butter 1 T. olive oil 1 small onion, minced 2 t. crushed garlic 1 c. arborio rice 6-8 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, minced 1 c. dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio) 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth 1 c. water (more if needed) 1 c. grated parmesan salt and pepper
DIRECTIONS: First, heat the broth in a sauce pan and keep on low heat on a burner near the pan you will make your risotto in.
Melt butter and olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sautee until soft and tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the rice to the pan, stir to coat the rice and toast for a few minutes.
Add the sundried tomatoes and wine.
Turn down heat to medium-low and stir until most of the wine is absorbed by the rice. Then add the heated broth in batches, about one cup at a time, letting each batch of broth be absorbed by the rice before adding the next batch of broth. Make sure to continuously stir the rice as it absorbs each cup of liquid!!
Repeat adding the broth and stirring until the rice has absorbed the last cup of liquid and taste-test the rice.
The rice is fully cooked when it is soft, yet has a slight bite (similar to al dente pasta). If it is still crunchy, add water in the same manner as the broth - one cup at a time as the rice absorbs it. Remove the risotto from heat and add the parmesan cheese.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with more parmesan and some dried basil.
From Sapori Trattoria in Lincoln Park. My sister always raved about this restaurant when she lived in this neighborhood a few years ago. I’ve been in Chicago proper for 6 months now and hadn’t tried out this spot yet. It was everything she said it would be!