The most surprising cooking success of the week was the arancine. I had never even made risotto before, but this turned our spectacularly and wasn’t even hard.
(No photos because honestly, I didn’t have time to take pictures of my food. Did you?)
The risotto takes time, yes (about 25 minutes of constant stirring/adding stock/stirring) but as I said, wasn’t a huge technical challenge. I cooked the risotto on Tuesday, formed the arancini balls on Wednesday morning, refrigerated them, then fried them up right before dinner. (Filled with a little bit of red sauce, some pancetta and relatively fresh mozzarella.) They were just about perfect.
Arancine is just about my favorite thing to eat in Italy, and it may or may not be a good thing that I learned how to make them.
The drunken pork loin turned out well, too. The recipe isn’t online, but it’s Marcella Hazan’s.
I also made Michael Chiarello’s Caponata. I had made it before, but this time the amount of vegetables seemed quite out of whack with the amount of sauce. I observed this before I cooked the vegetables, so ended up putting only half of them in the pot, and it seemed just right. Maybe I had a bigger eggplant? Don’t know.
No, I’m not Italian, but it’s my favorite cuisine, so if you came to my house for Christmas, you were stuck with it.
Christmas Mass? Christmas Eve at 10 PM at Casa Maria. My adult son who lives in Atlanta discovered the hard way that his assumption that, “Huh…a 4pm Christmas Eve Mass? Who’s going to go to that?” was dead wrong as he wandered around the campus of the Cathedral looking for one of the three Masses going on that wasn’t standing room fifteen minutes before it started. We didn’t have that problem, even in the sisters’ small chapel. It was full, but not packed. Bishop Foley celebrated, the music was the usual simple, gorgeous reverence, and I didn’t have to stay up until 2 am.
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