Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Neglect and the reasons for it

I'm sorry - I've been neglecting my poor little blog recently. But with good reason - I haven't been in Canberra! Always a cause for excitement, it started out with flying to Melbourne, meeting up with Sara, and going to the zoo to see the new baby elephant:

After the trip to the zoo, it was off to the AC/DC concert:
Which was a night of awesomeness. Not quite as awesome as the Green Day concert, mind you. But still pretty damned awesome. And at least now I've gotten to see AC/DC before they stop touring/die!
Then it was on to a day of doing touristy stuff in Melbourne with Sara and Aerlyn, which included Eureka Tower:

Taking sample photos for work:

And one of my favourite places in Melbourne - the La Trobe Reading Room at the State Library of Victoria:

Then after a day of catching up with Cas, it was off to Tasmania for six days. Which is a story for another blog post... But anyway, I've been back from Tassie since Monday night, and have been running around like a crazy person ever since (seriously - we went straight from the airport to the Palace's trivia night!). But it's back to Canberra and normalcy this weekend. So rest assured, the neglect won't last much longer!!

Watch this space for exciting stories from Tasmania about tiger snakes, stupidly low shower heads, and lollies that have melted into bizarre blobs of gelatinous sugar!!

K xx :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Branching out - risotto

So I was making risotto last week, and I figured that it was probably about time I branched out from blogging about things that contain unhealthy quantities of sugar and chocolate. So I hereby present risotto with fillet steak and vegetables!

Here's the cast of characters:

I committed a cardinal sin and forgot to marinate the steak... So I figured I'd just cook it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead:

Cook the steak:

While the steak's cooking, get started on the onion. Cut the top off it:
Then cut it in half:

Then peel it:

And dice it. If you need a detailed tutorial, go visit Pioneer Woman Cooks...:

Nice, finely diced onion!:

Then take the steak:

And slice it thinly. I'm sorry, I committed a cardinal sin (again) and overcooked the steak. I got distracted watching appallingly bad reality TV. It was either the Biggest Loser or So You Think You Can Dance...:

Next, take the capsicum:

Chop the top off. Does anyone else get capsicums where one of the seeds has sprouted and grown a little capsicum inside the big one??? Because I seem to get them ALL the time:

Remove the core:

And dice it:

Then take the cherry tomatoes:

And chop them into quarters:

Finally, take the sweet potato. Peel it and chop the ends off it:

Aaaaand dice it:

Once all the veggies are chopped, start on the risotto. First, melt some butter:

Then add the diced onions:

And stir until the onion is softened and translucent:

Once the onion's done, add the arborio rice, and stir until it's well coated in butter mixture:

Then take a couple of cups of beef stock:

Typically, you should use about half a cup of wine. But considering I don't drink wine on its own, that would leave me with the better part of a whole bottle of wine and nothing to do with it. So I just use half a cup of stock instead:

Once that first half cup has been absorbed, add the other one and a half cups of stock:

Then add in the frozen peas:

And mix them through:

Meanwhile, cook the veggies as you see fit. I steamed them in the microwave. The sweet potato took about six minutes, the capsicum took about four minutes, and the tomatoes about two minutes:

Meanwhile, once the stock has been absorbed to about this level:

Add a cup of water:

Continue adding water and letting it evaporate until the rice has cooked. It's usually two cups of stock and just over two cups of water:

Then grate some cheese. You can use the pre-grated stuff if you want, but it tastes better if you grate your own. Don't ask me how or why. It just does...:

Mmmmmmmm, cheesy goodness:

Once the water has evaporated to a suitable extent:

Add another chunk of butter. Strictly speaking, you can use margarine or olive oil instead, but it's just not the same:

Then add the cheese:

And mix it through, along with a liberal dose of pepper. You can add salt if you like, but it probably doesn't need it, courtesy of all that stock:
Then add the herbs. I used Italian herb blend because I'm too lazy to buy basil and oregano separately. But you can use whatever you want:

Then toss the vegetables through:

Along with the chopped beef. I ended up dicing it rather than just slicing it. But if you used a bigger chunk of steak, you could use slices:

And serve!!!


This is sooooooo good. And it smells just as good as it tastes! It might seem a bit complicated the first time you make it (especially the whole standing there and watching it the whole time part - NEVER leave risotto unattended!), but after a couple of times, it just becomes habit. And you'll be able to whip it up in no time!


K xx :)
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