When two cultures meet - a liver risotto that is a perfect marriage between Portugal and Italy
I'm still on a liver roll, I may just as well say it. There. I'm also on a risotto high, because we kind of went crazy and bought this enormous bag of arborio rice that was half price. So, we decided we need to cook plenty of risottos and have made Friday night into our risotto night. I am cooking risotto every Friday for the next couple of months, I guess, and although so far I have plenty of ideas on risottos I want to try, I'm quite sure these will end up dwindling... I only hope inspiration for cooking does not run dry before the rice has all been used!
Sure, I'll be recooking old staples like this romanesco risotto that was out of this world; or this seafood risotto that was pretty good as well. I won't be cooking an asparagus risotto, although it is one of my favourite, because, well, asparagus are not in season, are they? But I have squash, so I might as well cave in to this butternut risotto that was one of the best we ever had. And there will surely be some space left for a squid risotto, which was for sure one of the best things I ever came up with. It is still my favourite, no matter what.
There's a few more ideas in my head, like cod risotto, pea risotto as well, which I only tried once and loved so much, spinach and rabe risotto, though I have used both vegetables on this one already. There's quite a lot of combinations, and in the end I can always go back to the most cooked risotto here at home - it's kind of our fast food, although it's not that fast to cook, but I can do it with both eyes closed - the mushroom risotto. So there'll be plenty of risottos to eat, and I hope to share as well, if the mad ideas I have do pan out.
This particular risotto is from last Friday, I am cooking a different one tonight. It was kind of a wild card, this one, a thought that came into my head and that I ran through my husband who agreed it could just work very well indeed. I only told him of the liver, see, I kept the vegetables to myself because I know he always frowns, although he ends up eating his greens. I hadn't really settled on the greens when I thought it up, but I later figured out they would be perfect with the liver strips. And I wasn't wrong.
It's kind of a silly fusion dish, in the end, but one that seemed to work out fine here at home. The rabe and the spinach go so well with any rice, and they are the perfect complement for the liver. Rabe is such a portuguese thing to eat - traditionally with fish, though I will have it even by itself, that's how much I like it! - and so is liver. But then there's the cheese and the rice, both of them all italian, and there's the cooking method and the seasoning, taking from both countries and joining together in what ended up being a quite perfect marriaged of the senses and the flavours.
So here we go:
- 1 l chicken stock
- 1 handfull of rabe leaves
- 1 handfull of spinach leaves
- 1 glass of cognac or brandy - I used portuguese aguardente, with juniper
- 1 cup carnaroli or arboreo rice
- 1 leek, chopped
- 250 gr liver steaks, cut into thin strips
- 3 cloves of garlic + 1 clove of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- olive oil
- a dash of white wine
- salt and pepper
- grated parmigianno or grana padanno - a large handful will do