0504 Michael Symon’s Risotto with Bay Scallops

Tonight’s dinner was brought to you entirely by Shane. Shane, who tried to come rescue me when I was totally sacked out from a lousy run. Shane, who volunteered to make dinner when I just wanted a nap. Shane, who stood at the stove stirring the risotto for NINETY MINUTES – much longer than the recipe required – until the rice cooked down to a velvet texture.

This is the second Michael Symon recipe we’ve made, and the second one that has had serious problems, specifically with the order and the length of time for certain aspects. With the macaroni and cheese, the instructions state to start making the sauce while the water comes to a boil. It takes about 5-10 minutes for water to boil on our stove, but the sauce took upwards of half an hour. With the risotto, the instructions said that it should take about 3 minutes for each cup of liquid to be absorbed. It took more like 30 minutes per cup. Did Symon forget a zero? Or does he work in some kind of bionic kitchen that can reduce a cup of liquid in 3 minutes?

And how exactly does warm-ish velvety rice cook half a pound of scallops? We were both a little skeezed out by this particular part of the recipe, so Shane quickly browned the scallops in a little butter and olive oil, then combined them with the lovely prosciutto-filled risotto – and oh, it was lovely. Lovely and delicious, warm with a fresh crispness from the Italian parsley sprinkled over the top. Definitely not a weeknight dinner, though.


0428 Michael Symon’s Macaroni and Cheese

We were given a copy of Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, the first cookbook by the Cleveland restaurateur and Iron Chef America personality of the same name.  We keep talking about going to Symon’s two restaurants in Cleveland, but the closest we’ve gotten is tonight’s macaroni and cheese.

0428 Michael Symon's Macaroni and Cheese

Yeah, yeah, I know this isn’t the most mouthwatering of photos, but do you see those bubbles?  That’s goat cheese and heavy cream, and a lot of both, and it’s bubbling up through freshly ground pepper.  And it’s delicious.

I’m not generally big on fancied up macaroni and cheese, to be totally honest.  I don’t like bread crumbs on top, and I don’t really care if it’s baked.  I don’t need four kinds of cheese, or a whole lot of accouterments to make me happy – just melted gooey goodness, with maybe some ham or peas added at the last minute.  Y’know, like this:

Best. Meal. Ever.

But I digress.

Dinner was deceptively simple.  Not quite as simple as the shells and cheese above, but much more simple than you’d expect from a fancy chef’s cookbook.  The sauce is goat cheese, rosemary, and heavy cream warmed together and reduced, with shredded chicken and your noodles stirred in towards the end.

That’s it.  No funny business.  No superfluous salt and pepper or seasoning, which struck me as a bit odd.  No pepper at all?  Really?  No pepper.  OK, so I added pepper.  And if I made this again, I would add more pepper.  I would also cut back on the sauce, and add in some vegetables, like the asparagus we served with the macaroni and cheese.

So maybe I do like my macaroni and cheese fancied up after all.

Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary from Michael Symon’s Live to Cook