The Samovar


RFC: Courgette Risotto
July 7, 2007, 1:25 am
Filed under: Cooking, Food, Recipes

So I have this idea in mind that I want to make courgette risotto but I’ve not done it before and most of the recipes I’ve looked at don’t look that inspiring. I feel with courgettes you need to do something with them rather than just stick ’em in and hope it tastes nice.  Any thoughts?

Some of the ideas I’ve had so far:

  • Two ways of cooking them: slice off the skins and roughly chop them, and do the same with the insides. Cook the insides along with the rest of the risotto so they dissolve into the risotto. Meanwhile, saute the chopped skins on a high heat  for a short time so they retain some texture and stir into the risotto right at the end.
  • Herbs: I think the BBC recipe I looked at a few days ago had the right idea – lots of herbs. I was thinking about basil, parsley, maybe oregano, maybe mint.
  • Pesto: Never tried the combination of pesto and courgette but apparently it’s fantastic. I was thinking perhaps a small amount at the side rather than stirring it in.
  • Pine nuts: Thinking about pesto, the idea of toasting some pine nuts and stirring them into the risotto seemed a good one for taste and texture. What about other nuts?
  • Third way: a Raymond Blanc recipe I was looking at had courgette ribbons – very thin slices of courgette, marinated in oil, salt, pepper and (I think) lemon; then cooked for a very short time on a high heat, covered. They sound nice and could be used in various ways in a courgette risotto – perhaps as a base, on the side, or even stirred in.

There’s also another question – what would courgette risotto go with? I usually have risotto on its own, but perhaps in this case it would be nicer made in a smaller quantity with some sort of meaty or birdy thing.

While I’m here – any thoughts on aubergine risotto? Apparently it’s very good – also never tried it.

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The past few days
July 3, 2007, 12:17 am
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Politics, Risk, Terrorism

I’ve been away which is why I haven’t written anything about terrorism. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet (OK I do), but I’d just like to point out that on June 15th I wrote:

… This suggests that the number of willing would-be terrorists is actually fairly small, or that they are generally incompetent.

The recent technically incompetent and hopelessly executed attempt at a terrorist attack bears this theory out:

Earlier reports said bouncers from a nearby nightclub saw the car being driven erratically before it crashed into a bin. They claimed the driver then got out and ran off.

In case these attacks are used to justify further incursions on civil liberties, it’s worth pointing out that these people were wholly unknown to the police, that increased detention without trial or other similar powers would not have been useful in stopping them, etc. In other words, existing powers were more than sufficient.

Fortunately, it seems that most people are not giving this attack undue significance. Leninology notes that BBC News 24 were using the phrase “terror fatigue” to describe people’s lack of reaction. Well… at last!

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