Yoooooooooo. We are in the middle of a SEVERE heat wave here in Boston.
Temperatures in the mid 90s and humidity near 80%.
It is BRUTAL.
When I brought up the weather app on my phone to see exactly how hot it was, it just showed a withering cactus.
This wouldn’t be a big problem for me but in my job, I frequently have to walk back and forth from one building to another and lately, going from this breathless heat to a chilly lab is starting to wear on me.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love not being cooped up all day.
I’m just saying the dramatic shift in temperature now has me sneezing, constantly wiping my itchy nose, dabbing my watery eyes…I just know a cold is coming on.
Don’t know when its going to hit me but when it does, it’s going to be a bad one.
Its like when you’re creeping through a fucking house and there’s an ax murderer.
You don’t know what room he’s in but you know he’s in the house. And he can come out at any time and whack you off.
Yet for whatever reason, when I got home, I instantly started pulling ingredients out to make Risotto.
For those of us who may have forgotten what all is involved in making risotto, it essentially entails slowly pouring hot liquid (a broth of some kind) into a pot containing some kind of grain, ½ cup at a time and stirring, constantly, until the liquid is absorbed before repeating the process again with another ½ cup.
And so on and so forth until the rice or whatever starch you choose to use, is al dente.
This process takes about 25 – 30 mins.
It got hot as hell is this fucking kitchen.
Half way through making it I caught a glimpse of myself in the kitchen mirror and I literally looked like one of those terrified emoji’s or whatever the fuck they’re called.
You know the ones that have that “AHHHH!!!” terrified, wide-mouth, panic look on their face?
I just started talking to myself like “Why that fuck do I this. Why couldn’t I just grab some soy ice-cream from the freezer, put on my jam jams and go the fuck to bed?!”
“WHHHYY am I standing in this hot ass kitchen making risotto when its 91 degrees out!”
On top of that I had this stupid song stuck in my head, you know the one… Why you gotta be so ruuuude, don’t you know I’m a human toooooo”.
Dude, having that song in my head, in this hot ass kitchen, was literally my personal Vietnam.
Shitake & Cremini Barley Risotto with Smoked Trout Creme & Fried Egg
What I Used
½ cup Creme Fraiche. 1.5 qrt Chicken Broth. 9 oz dry Barley. 1 cup fresh chopped Cilantro. 2 cloves fresh Garlic. 3/4 cup diced Scallions. 4 cups roughly chopped Cremini & Shitake Mushrooms. 1 can Smoked Trout (4 oz). An Egg. Olive Oil. Salt. Pepper. 2 tbsp Butter.
What I Did
Bring to a boil 1.5qt chicken broth.
The set the heat on low to simmer.
Meanwhile in a large pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil.
Add in the diced scallions and 1tbsp minced garlic.
Cook on med heat until the scallions are slightly brown and the ginger is fragrant.
Add in the mushrooms.
Cook, coating the mushrooms with the scallions until they begin to release their juices and become soft.
Add in the barley and toast until they (the barley) begins to turn golden brown.
Then add in 1/2 cup chicken broth, slowly, while stirring the the barley.
As each 1/2 cup addition of chicken broth is absorbed into the rice, add 1/2 cup more, constantly stirring.
Continue stirring and adding stock until the barley is soft to taste.
When so, add in 1 cup fresh cilantro and 2 tbsp butter.
Stir and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the smoked trout.
Heat a large skillet, then add in 1 can smoked trout, including the oil in it.
If the can of trout has no oil, heat 1 tbsp oil in the pan first and then add the trout.
When trout starts to lightly brown, add in 1/2 cup creme fraiche.
I used soy cream because I’m lactose intolerant.
Stir to combine until mixture is slightly thick.
About 2 mins.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Lastly, fry an egg.
You know how to do this part.
To plate, place fried egg in center of plate.
Surround with risotto.
Crack black pepper over the egg.
Sprinkle with finely diced cilantro.
And for those of you not lactose intolerant, grate some Parmesan cheese on top of it all.