Uma-you, umami

21 09 2010

We’re running down the pantry here at casa Sherdie, trying to use up those random bits and pieces of food that have been lurking in the back of the cupboard all year.

But first, some insight into my food saving habits. Habits? More like compulsion. Wasting food is  serious crime and one must try everything one can to not waste it.

So I turn my attention to a third of a packet of arborio rice. Risotto. Yes. Helpfully it’s been cold and rainy this week, perfect risotto weather. But we are low on vegies, and out of garlic.

Then I see, in the fridge, two lonely green cracked olives from Mt Stirling, sitting in a huge pile of sliced garlic and mustard seeds.

So far so good. Now I just need some stock.

I have powdered stuff, it’s true. But in the freezer we have some frozen stock. Not just any frozen stock, though. This is the leftover stock from a glorious seven-person nabe held to celebrate my exit from the public service. There were stacks of vegies and homemade tofu, there were piles of fresh shiitake and enoki, there was a kilo of thinly sliced beef, extra marbled. All dipped into a sultry, smoky dashi broth and simmered to perfection. We ate our way through a mountain of food and the broth got richer and richer.

At the end of it I couldn’t bear to simply chuck out this liquid umami, so into the freezer it went.

See also: food-saving compulsion.

Long story short, those three ingredients (plus the dregs of a $3 bottle of white wine) created the most amazing risotto I’ve ever had. Chuck in some rocket from the garden and a leftover slice of bacon, a shaving of parmesan and some truffle oil (again from Mt Stirling) and you have quite the fancy weeknight dinner (and lunch the next day).

Now, if only I can work out what to make with this chickpea flour my mum gave me…




One response

10 10 2010

Perhaps you could look up a recipe to use the besan for something else to go with the pilaf??

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