Spring and savory

Last week was a busy one. No time for shopping, planning, or menu-creation. Everything was on the fly.

The wife went to Whole Foods to pick up our locally grown order and shot me a text. “Two pounds of shrimp. Anything else?”

I was busy, and simply responded “I can work with shrimp.”

“Sides?” she sent back.

I was distracted and in a big hurry. So, I quickly typed out, “Cilantro, fresh ginger, cabbage, pineapple, peaches.”

I had no plan, but I did have a few other things on hand, including nearly a gallon of frozen homemade stock. Here are the two exceedingly simple sides I ended up with. They’re nothing special. In fact, they’re almost not worth mentioning, but for the fact the wife gave me sexy eyes when I served them.

Pornographic Risotto

1.5 cups of arborio rice
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon diced fresh ginger
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 large chopped peach
1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

1. Melt butter on medium to medium high heat. When melted, sauté ginger and 1/2 of peaches until soft. Add rice and brown slightly.
2. When rice is brown and butter has been absorbed, add wine and stir until absorbed.
3. Warm stock and then add 3/4-1 cup at a time until nearly absorbed.
4. When stock has been almost entirely absorbed into rice and rice is soft, add remainder of peaches, pineapple, cilantro, and Parmesan cheese.
5. Salt and pepper to taste

Nasty, naughty cabbage

1/3 head red cabbage, julienned
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds
1/2 large peach, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Heat oils together in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and ginger. Cook for two minutes, then add garlic.
2. When garlic is beginning to brown, add cabbage. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until it’s soft but still has a bit of a crisp to it.
3. Add remainder of ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately.