Thursday, November 20, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers BRC: Chive Risotto Cakes

This month there were 2 recipes chosen for the BRC (bonus recipe challenge). I got to this one, hopefully I will get to the other one at some point.

This was an interesting recipe because it is a way to make risotto cakes without having leftover risotto. You make fake risotto with yogurt and eggs instead of the starchy goodness to bind it together and then bread and fry.

I can't say this recipe worked for me very well. I made them one morning when I woke up starving at 4AM. Sadly this has happened more than once. The waking up at 4AM, not the making risotto cakes. Maybe because I have a tendency of falling asleep at 7 or so when I get home.

The upside was that I didn't cut myself. The downside is the risotto cakes really didn't come out well and I burned myself. They were salty (which was my error because I oversalted the rice) but bland (which might also be my fault because I used 2 green onions, which was all I had, instead of 3 tablespoons of minced chives. I had issues getting it to form a nice ball (which might also be my fault because I used regular plain yogurt rather than greek yogurt and I didn't strain the rice because it looked pretty dry). So the gist of it is, it came out pretty bad (although barely edible, which is better than inedible) and I don't care enough to try again to try and make it right.

And here is the chronological version that might make a bit more sense. I woke up at 4AM hungry and realizing I needed food for the next day for lunch. So I decided I was going to make these risotto cakes. So I head downstairs and start cooking. I got a pot of water and the stove and salted it like you salt the water for pasta. That was mistake #1. I figured it needed to be salted because that's what the recipe said but I figured the amount of salt was not really intended to be measured, like with pasta.

So then I let it cook and started to prep the other stuff. I had plain yogurt in the fridge so that is what I decided to use rather than greek yogurt. I also didn't measure it, figuring I'd just eyeball a half a cup. Mistake #2.

I only had the 2 green onions so that's what I used. I figured it wasn't really intended to have a real strong oniony flavor so it would be OK. It was probably about 2 tbsps of green onion so I figured I would be close enough. Mistake #3.

So then the rice had cooked for about 20 mins, like the recipe said and there was almost no water left in the rice so I figured I would just add it as is. I figured the little bit of water would be irrelevant because if I rinsed it there would just be more water and the starch that was left in the water would help pull it together anyway. Mistake #4.

So I mixed the rice in and tried to form a ball but it was much too liquidy and soft it wouldn't hold together. I tried dropping a spoonful into the breadcrumbs and then tossing it around. That didn't work. In this process I got it on my hands so I gave it a little taste. All I could taste was overwhelming amounts of salt.

At this point the goal was just to make something edible, I didn't really care if it was good any more. Good clearly was not going to happen. I decided the only way to dilute the salt is to make another cup of rice without salt and mix it in. This time I drained and rinsed the rice too. This got the salt content down and thickened up the mix a bit but it was still not holding a ball very well. I managed to fry up a couple so I could have something for lunch. They were edible. That's about the best I can say for them.

I mixed in some italian seasoned breadcrumbs to help bind it and give it some flavor. I stuck the mix in the fridge so that the cold would help firm it up and I could give it another shot when I got home. When I got home I fried up the rest. They were a little better though definitely still not good. I have some in the freezer that I guess I will use like a tater tot type replacement if I am craving fried starchiness and also because I can't really handle any more of them right now. This was a failed mission. This is the first Barefoot Contessa recipe that I have tried that I wasn't happy with. How sad. Next time I'll just make risotto.

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