Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Sep 25, 2012

Summer Farro Risotto

Libations used: 1/2 cup white wine
Libations left over: Pretty much the whole bottle, so serve with dinner or pour yourself a glass while you're stirring the farro...
It's technically fall, but it still feels like summer with the heat in Los Angeles, and the corn and tomatoes at the market are still plentiful.  This farro risotto dish from The Kitchn highlights both of these ingredients, and the freshness and texture are a lovely balance with the creaminess of the farro.  Instead of just cooking up the farro, this recipe cooks it like a risotto with plenty of stock and wine.  I typically cook with chardonnay when I need a dry white, but I already had a bottle of Pinot Gris open in the fridge.  The Kitchn uses just a cup of corn, but I added more for a little crunch.  I wish I had started making this earlier in the summer because it's quick, simple and so darn tasty!

Summer Farro Risotto - serves 4
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine 
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups yellow corn (2-3 ears)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
- Soak the farro in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain and rinse.
- Meanwhile, fill a stock pot with water and bring to boiling.
- Drop in your ears of corn for 2-3 minutes until the corn is cooked through.
- Let the corn cool, before slicing off the kernels.
- In a medium sauce pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.
- Stir in the olive oil and farro.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- In the same sauce pot over medium heat, add the stock and warm it until it's hot, but not boiling.
- In a heavy sauce pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 Tbs of the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook until they just begin to soften (about 3 minutes).
- Add the farro and stir until the grains are evenly coated with butter.
- Pour in the wine and simmer until it evaporates.
- Add 1/2 cup  of the stock and stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed.
- Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time and not adding more until the previous amount is absorbed.
- Stir in the corn with the final addition of stock.
- When all the liquid is absorbed and the farro is tender, stir in the Parmesan cheese and remaining butter.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the farro into bowls and top with the tomatoes and basil.  Feel free to sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top too.