What the heck is risotto and how does it do that thing it does? Hey, I though rice was an Asian thing, not Italian? Ok, here’s a quick breakdown for you. Risotto is indeed an Italian rice dish, more specifically a Northern Italian rice dish. Usually round, medium or short grain, the most common types of rice used for making risotto are Aborio, Carnaroli, Maratelli and Vialone Nano. You’ll have the most luck finding Aborio in American grocery store, but the latter three are truly the best when it comes to a killer risotto.
Vietnamese food is one of my favorite, and perhaps one of the more interesting, cuisines of Southeast Asia. Although Vietnam was originally part of Imperial China, the French swooped in during the early 19th Century, colonized the entire country, and introduced their cooking style to the locals. By 1954 the locals had kicked the French oppressors back out of their homeland, but the fusion of both foods and languages stuck like a porcupine in bubble wrap.
Kroppkakor, as the dish is called is a Swedish dish, hailing from the southern regions of the country. They are namely potato dumplings with a filling of onion and pork or bacon, then served with lingonberry preserves and sour cream. Seriously, I am drooling just thinking about it.
It was the sort of dessert you would eat in a log cabin in a plaid flannel shirt after spending all winter growing a beard that might rival your chest hairs. The sort of dessert you would want after wrestling bears and spearing fish through a tiny hole in the ice.
This was very nearly a survive it moment. I did so many things wrong with this recipe that I am amazed that I didn’t end up tossing a pound of bacon in the trash. My first mistake was that I had spread myself too thin in the kitchen that day and was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Saint Paddy’s Day is quickly approaching, and I cannot think of a better time to tap into my inherent Irish bloodline and pull out a long-standing family favorite recipe – Irish Soda Bread. Although I didn’t realize it until well into adulthood, I pretty much lived on the stuff when I was a tot. It took one bite from a batch made by a friend to make me trip balls down memory lane and get overwhelmed with fond childhood memories of my Great Aunt May – a passionate writer, chef, and dog-lover.