Autumn has inexorably marched in. I don’t complain, though, quite the contrary. I think it is one of the most interesting moments to throw oneself into culinary frenzy at home.
I don’t encourage you to sit at home and – lost in poetic reverie – search for the sense of your lives looking at raindrops flowing down the windowpanes. You can plan something much better for this time. Let it have the background of the best guitar riffs, not some blah blah that it looks like rain…
And when the moment to hide your Ray Bans for the next summer showing-off finally comes, when women put their rubbers on and the wind tousles men’s beards, it will be a sign that it’s time to put cider away.
We’re having a time when the weather is most diversified. And cuisine follows the same path, so the multitude of culinary delights can really reach its height. My culinary head is filled with chestnuts – brown and delicious fruit. Not because they don’t contain gluten, but because they’re simply delicious – all of them. I’m not a G-free hypocrite. Gluten-free food scares me. But taking into account food fashions, I expect alcohol-free vodka in the nearest future. We already have beer like that.
I obviously mean edible chestnuts. I would like them to reign supreme on our tables. Unfortunately, they themselves prefer warmer Italian or French lands. They are really nutritious fruit and contain much starch and fibre plus many minerals. What’s interesting, one nut contains as much vitamin C as one lemon.
By the way, I’d like to stress that you don’t have to change your nature to prepare a tasty and nourishing meal. What fusion cuisine in the case of a chestnut-flavoured dish means are: olive oil, shallots, arborio or carnaroli rice, sweet chestnuts, boletes, wine, butter, mushroom bouillon and grated Parmesan cheese.
So I would like to share my idea for risotto, which Poles tend to profane to extremes. Above all, it has to have a slightly pulpy consistency with rice that remains al dente. The rules are simple: a cup of rice for three cups of bouillon and a small amount of other ingredients.
Cut shallots into dice and fry them carefully with olive oil until transparent. Add rice. Each grain should be slightly covered with oil. Then begin the process of laborious yet delicate mixing. Add a glass of white wine and keep mixing. Cut chestnuts into slices or cubes, add them to the rice and pour in some bouillon. Mix everything together. Cut boletes into slices and add to the rest of the ingredients; pour in bouillon and of course mix. You can also add a small amount of chopped rosemary to improve the flavour. Towards the end of cooking, add butter and mix once again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with some Parmesan.
I didn’t provide you with the amount of ingredients on purpose. You have perfect freedom in this matter, but remember not to add too many ingredients. Your devotion is what matters most in this dish, which demands constant care for these several minutes of cooking.
The cucumber season has undoubtedly ended. But the colours and tastes of autumn knocking at our doors are captivating and there is definitely nothing to long for. Chestnuts mean simply sweetness and numerous culinary possibilities. These nutritious fruit can be roasted and boiled or used to prepare various spreads or excellent flour. And as far as mushrooms are concerned, it’s definitely worth trying to go to the forest and pick some. For Poles it’s like a national sport. The rest are just supplements.
Simplicity in kitchen is not a curse. It’s respect for products borne by our land. We should appreciate uncomplicated combinations of products and look at the world through the eyes of a child. It’s simple and at the same time so beautiful.
olive oil, shallots, arborio or carnaroli rice, sweet chestnuts,
boletes, wine, butter, mushroom bouillon and grated Parmesan cheese
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