Ageists, step to the side - who says that an old banana can't be the sweetest thing you've ever put in your mouth? With a luxe combination of bananas, butter, brown sugar and booze, this recipe proves the naysayers wrong. Dead wrong.
Easy Last Minute Valentine’s Day Feast: Mascarpone, Prosciutto and Fig Crostini and Morel Mushroom Risotto
Oh Shit, It’s VD (aka Valentine’s Day)
Toss this one together right and you can eat in bed. Preferably with company, but it’s a good choice if you’re staying in to watch The Notebook or some other saccharine-dosed Hollywood blather, too.
Or maybe you weren’t even planning on celebrating, went on a bender, found an exchange student with limited English and extensive skills with regards to in flagrante delicto and now you two are looking for something in flagrante delicioso. Get him to stir the risotto so you can stare at his perfect ass while you polish off the crostini. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Mascarpone, Prosciutto and Fig Crostini
1/2 c. of mascarpone (creme fraiche also works)
a couple of slices of prosciutto
fig jam (found in nice grocery stores or online)
slices of ciabatta (9-12)
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line the slices of ciabatta on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Bake until golden and toasty, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Once your ciabatta has cooled, spread with a small amount of fig jam. Spread a few tablespoons of mascarpone on top to cover and season with a baby pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Gently place a bit of prosciutto on top, tearing each slice into smaller pieces if necessary. Crack a bit of fresh pepper on top and drizzle with a bit of additional olive oil (use a good, fruity one for drizzling). Serve.
1 oz. of dried morel mushrooms
5 c. of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 c. of dry white wine
1/2 c. of chopped onions
2 tbs. of butter
2 tbs. of olive oil
1 1/2 c. of arborio rice
3/4 c. of grated locatelli
1/4 tsp. of white pepper
salt to taste
4 tbs. of chopped chives
Bring 2 c. of chicken stock to a boil. Add the dried morels and cover. Let sit for about 20 minutes, allowing the mushrooms to rehydrate. Fish out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Strain the mushroom liquid off through a fine sieve lined with a paper towel or through cheesecloth. Pour the liquid into a quart measuring cup and add enough additional stock to make 3 1/2 cups.
Listen to us when we say: prep all of your ingredients before you start to make your life easier. When you begin, you should have dishes of all of your ingredients, measured out and within an arm’s reach. In a large pot, bring your stock to a simmer and keep warm throughout the entire process.
In a second large pot, add your oil and heat until shimmering. Add your shallots and cook on medium until translucent.
Add your rice (and saffron if you are using it) and stir to coat the grains with olive oil.
Continue to cook until the rice becomes translucent.
Pour in the wine and stir until the alcohol cooks off.
Grab a ladle and spoon 2-3 ladlefuls of broth into the rice. Add cheese in small doses while stirring. Stir constantly to incorporate the broth and keep the rice from sticking.
When all the broth is absorbed, add another 2 or 3 ladles of stock.
Keep adding broth and stirring until the rice is tender (taste it to make sure) and a lovely, creamy sauce has formed.
Once your risotto is cooked to perfection, add your mushrooms and stir. Turn the heat from medium to low and add the butter in small chunks, stirring rapidly after each addition to melt the butter into the creamy goodness.
Turn off the heat and toss in 3/4 of the chives.
Spoon risotto into bowls and top with the rest of the chives. Serve immediately – risotto needs to be eaten right away, or you are missing out in a big way.