I’m a little skeptical of ‘best’ lists or compilations. To me, it seems like opening a giant can of worms – trying to come up with a few choice items and call them the best of anything. Books, movies, restaurants. Etc.
Nonetheless when I open a Sunday paper and find a ‘special’ food issue tucked inside, I’m always intrigued. More so when the front page has the headline: ’50 Best Recipes Ever.’
Who cares if the recipes are the best ever, or not. I figure if they made a list called ’50 best..ever’ the recipes ought to be pretty fantastic. But, as typically happens when I have high expectations for something….they get dashed.
I mean, I tried the booklet’s recipe for homemade fish and chips a few weeks ago. It was fine. Definitely not great, but certainly fine. It certainly reminded me why I never, ever, deep-fry anything. The bottle of dirty brown oil is still sitting by the kitchen sink.
And, when I saw the magazine’s recipe (#4) for Risotto with Globe Artichokes...well I had to try it. Not only did it call for less than 10 ingredients, it was one of fifty. Of the best recipes – EVER.
Granted I didn’t have any fresh parsley on hand. And I used marinated artichokes instead of the globe artichokes called for. Because I’ve never been able to cook an artichoke – so I’d rather rely on the already-prepped variety. (Steph S. you really should have taught me how to do this!!)
I did drive all the way to the Mercato to pay $10 for a few fancy artichokes. I figured that would make up for the lack of ‘fresh’ taste.
As I set the risotto (and asparagus and roasted red pepper salad) on the table, I felt pleased that I’d created a nice meal for my family.
That is, until the Hen spat out his first bite. And the next. And the one after that. ‘No dinner for you,’ I announced, puzzled – as always – by my second-born’s fickle ways with food.
Though certainly not one of the greatest things I’d ever tasted; it tasted quite fine. Good enough. So why the violent reaction? It was rice, for pete’s sake. What kid doesn’t eat rice? With cheese? (And tiny flecks of artichoke).
Fast forward to last night when I reheated a bowl of ‘the world’s vilest risotto‘ for my dinner. I sat down to eat and the little man hurried over to my lap. I speared a few grains of arborio with my fork and aimed for his mouth.
He opened. Chewed. And swallowed.
And then he ‘helped’ me eat three small bowls of the stuff.
Artichoke risotto on a Monday? Absolutely not. On a Tuesday? Delicious!