Saturday, 7 July 2007

Stirring up a Red Risotto - when two cooks are better than one.

Photo and Food Styling by Eva

If you think that is an amazing photo, you have to have a look at Eva's food blog Sweet Sins and her Flickr photo album. I've always admired her photography skills, but she has always been very modest about it. Eva, along with my French-Canadian friend, Em and my sister were my catalyst for start this blog.


So what do two foodies like Eva and I do when we get together? We talk about food, we share food, and this time, we also cooked together. I don't know why it took us this long to finally prepare a meal together. I enjoy cooking with friends, but many of them feel nervous about cooking with me or for me because they think that since I am a food fanatic, they worry about not meeting my "high" standards. I always reassure them that I always enjoy home cooked meals, no matter how simple or elaborate, because it's always made with lots of TLC (Tender Loving Care). While I enjoy eating at restaurants, I much prefer home-cooked meals.

It was really fun cooking with Eva because she is relaxed and flexible about the whole process. We agreed to prepare a 3-course meal: Pumpkin Soup, Bill's Tomato Risotto with Garlic Chilli prawns and German Vanilla Custard. Believe it or not, it was very quick and easy to prepare this meal, which was good considering that it was a week night and we ddn't have that much time to work with before the hungry boys (i.e. our partners) arrive.

Eva made the pumpkin soup (sorry, no photo). It was delicious - she added fresh ginger, which was perfect for winter. She also garnished the soup with pumpkin seeds. I loved the contrast of textures and the slight saltiness that the seeds added to the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.

Trying out a red risotto was my suggestion because I've been curious about this after reading Bill Granger's article in May. I'm a big fan of Bill's recipes, so I was keen to try out his tomato risotto recipe. Eva and I decided to write about this meal so head over to her post to find out more about how our risotto turned out.

Our next food project together is a "Christmas in July" dinner party at my place. Eva has volunteered to make the entrée and Quikong has also been roped in to make egg nog. Stay tuned!

19 comments:

KJ said...

Your risotto looks delicious. I am on a bit of a rissoto bender at the moment. I've just eaten chicken risotto for lunch. I have never tried tomato. Maybe something for the future.

Wendy said...

I've made this risotto before and it was great! Don't remember it looking this pretty though. Beautiful picture.

You've been tagged. See my site if you are interested. :)

Lydia said...

I love to make risotto in the winter, but in summer I tend to stick to lemon risotto because it feels, well, lighter. Tomato is such a good idea, though, and our fresh garden tomatoes are just starting to come in...

lynn said...

That looks delicious and it sounds like a wonderful time cooking with friends. Isn't it great to have people to share your passions with?

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Beautiful and sounds delicious! I love cooking with friends but have the same problem as you. Christmas dinner mid year sounds like a great idea.

Kelly-Jane said...

Your risotto looks so good! Love the play on colours too.

Eva's pictures are really so very good - real cookbook photography (and I hope she'll take that as a compliment!).

Nora B. said...

KJ - The tomato risotto was delicious and a nice change from the usual, so I hope that you will try it.

Wendy - I can't take the credit for the prettiness because it was Eva who plated the food and took the photo. p/s: thanks for tagging me!

Lydia - Risotto is also a winter dish for me. And we are very much in risotto season at the moment.

Lynn, yes sharing my food passion with others makes me feel that I am normal and not that obsessed! ;-)

Amanda, Christmas in July is a very Aussie thing because it's our only chance to cooke "typical" Christmas food (e.g. roasts) which is more suited for colder weather.

Cynthia said...

It is must so nice to get together with like-minded foodie friends :) sounds like you all had a good time and I'm looking forward to the Christmas in July meal :)

valentinA said...

Gosh, your risotto is beautiful, the photo's really aesthetically pleasing to the eyes! And the mouth as well!:)

tigerfish said...

Happy Christmas- Now I can have pumpkin soup all year round..at your hemisphere at this time of the year and in abt 2 mths time back here in US. :) ....Geez...I seldom have risotto but I love almost anything tomatoes. Good to cook with a friend :D

katiez said...

Red Risotto - How fun!
I've cooked other rices with tomatoes (Spanish Rice) but never thought about risotto!
I'd probably still put in the cheese, though. It looks so pretty with the shrimp!
I've made 'purple' risotto, using only red wine, no stock at all... good, pretty, decadent...

Nora B. said...

Cynthia, yes it was fun. I wish I could do it more.

Valentina - We were surprised how good it turned out - both in terms of looks and taste. Eva is a great photographer.

Tigerfish - Coming from Sinagpore, I never used to cook according to the seasons, Now that I live in Australia, I don't always cook according to the season, but more along the line of seasonal produce.

Katie, can you believe that I haven't cooked a paella before? I love that stuff, esp. seafood paella. Purple risotto sounds very intriguing. This reminds me of squid ink risotto, which is black, and very decadent too (but not for a first date, I quickly learnt! You get black stuff on your teeth that won't go away easily).

Susan said...

That plate's a beauty, Nora. The colors are glorious and highly tempting. That it's all healthy is icing on the cake.

Janet said...

That looks delicious - what a fun thing to do - get together with another food blogger to cook a meal! Great idea!

Carolyn said...

Your risotto looks absolutely yummy! You are right ~ Eva did an awesome job on that photo. How wonderful that you have your friend and your sister to share in this food adventure. It sounds fun just reading about each of your contributions to your meal. Looking forward to hearing how your next food project goes. Great to hear from you today, and so glad you enjoyed the chair and flowers in my photo. Have a great day! :-)

WokandSpoon said...

I love the asparagus on the risotto! Gorgeous!

Nora B. said...

Susan, I have to thank Eva for that photo. She's a very talented lady. It was pretty health. I also forgot to mention that we used less butter than the recipe indicated & it was still delicious.

Janet - yes it was a lot of fun. I hope to do more of it.

Carolyn - Eva & I are very excited about our next project. I hope that she will take the photos because I know my night time photos don't turn out well.

Wok&Spoon - thanks for dropping by. :-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I wish I had been a part of this wonderful get together, Nora - risotto is my favorite food in the whole world! :)

Kirsten said...

I LOVE red risotto and this one is beautiful!! Lovely and delicious!!