Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


The Wrong Rice.

I hate it when things run out.

I ran out of rice. It's OK if you haven't started cooking yet, but I had already scored a couple of garlic cloves, diced the flesh of a red capsicum and chopped some delicious fresh calamari into one-inch sections.

Stock ready, white wine ready.

Stove on.

Olive oil in the pan.

I don't do everything backwards, just some things. I went to the pantry for the rice jar. There was about an inch of arborio in it, enough for maybe half a serve. I wasn't about to rush to the supermarket. It was late. I was tired. I was hungry.

The hell with it. I'll just use the rest of the arborio and add some other rice to fill it out.

But what other rice would go best with arborio? I had: parboiled rice, red rice, white short-grain rice, sushi rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice and brown rice. Plus barley, which makes great risotto, except it isn't, it's orzotto.

But barley would take longer to cook than arborio, so I chose the sushi rice. It worked kind of fine. And now I can recommend Sushi Risotto with Calamari and Red Capsicum.

The world doesn't need another risotto recipe.

So I'll just tell you what I did.

I got the rice going slowly on a low flame, teasing it lovingly around in the pan with some finely chopped onion, some good olive oil and a dash of white wine. Then, when the rice was all warm and glistening and ready, I caressed it with the stock, very slowly, spoonful by spoonful. Risotto doesn't like being rushed when you handle it. It likes you to take your time. If you take your time, the rice slowly takes up the fluid and gets fatter and soon it issues its starch and goes all creamy and just about sighs with pleasure. Now I added the diced capsicum and it suffused the rice with a soft pinkness, like a blush on white flesh; and close to the end, when we were nearly done, I added the calamari, so that it was just-cooked, but meltingly tender.

Then we ate.


Spike said...


I had a frozen pizza :(

breadchick said...

Sometimes it takes things like this to lead to "ok" substitutions. I would never have thought to add sushi rice (if I had any). I probably would have used the 1/2 a box of wild rice I have been moving around the pantry for the past two months...hum, I think I'll do just that with this guidance.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I disagree - the world can always use another risotto recipe. And this foodie always benefits learning how others substitute!

Marie said...

Interesting...I bet it tasted fabulous! We had Mediterrean Herb Bake Chicken...yumm!

Red dirt mummy said...

I substitute constantly so I love hearing that not only do others do it, but also how they do it.