Porcini & pecorino risotto, laced with sherry and creamy goats cheese
For some serious SOS soul food, this rich risotto, laced with sherry and intense porcini mushrooms helps to release doom and gloom. Use your frying pan as your cauldron, mindfully throw in your negative thoughts into the furious simmering pot and bubble the troubles away. serve up with soothing creamy goats cheese and punchy pecorino. Perfect food for mulling over problems or sitting alone rainspotting in your favourite chair.
How did I get here, to this dark risotto day?
All is not well. Jobs are not going as expected, dreams are not coming true, the reality is kicking in that maybe after a year of considerable changes we are still not on the right path.
This isn’t the first time our family has found ourselves in this situation and I’m certain it won’t be the last, but with an international house move, two children having to change schools and having to say goodbye to an array of friends, great neighbours, fantastic colleagues – I’m beginning to question WHY on earth did we move.
It’s a sobering thought to think you’ve made a colossal life mistake. After all this time, we are still struggling to find our fit, coping with toxic work environments and unstainable circumstances, the ground we exist on feels shaky and uncertain. This just sends me spiralling into self-doubt, bringing with it waves of sadness and regret.
For me, solitude follows sadness. I stop talking and reach out to no one. I pent up my doubt, frustration and fear, carrying it around all tightly packed inside my head.
Whilst my logical part of my brain tells me that talking this out would help, it’s often overshadowed by the irrational, emotional me that helps me to keep secrets. I’m the world’s best secret keeper. None of those secrets have served me well.
As the autumn light changes and the dark nights set in, the tug and pull on my total being is palpable. The weather turns and all I can do is rainspot; Lashing. Downpour. Drizzle. Sheet. Torrential and so it cycles only adding to my gloom.
What do you do when you’re feeling this way?
I eat, make food and eat it, often alone. I don’t think I’m alone here on the emotional eating front (I can’t say I always eat great food either), I’ll eat whatever’s in the house, including the kid’s sweets!
So, sometimes (not always) I plan what I’m going to eat, make something nice and invite someone over to share it with me, using the blog, recipe testing as a guise for the invite.
I then listen. Listen to that person talk. Usually, people really open up to me, sharing all kinds of problems. I give lots of advice, something which I’m fabulous at, but can barely take it for myself. Somehow, somewhere between the food and the conversation I always find perspective. I’m always astounded by the struggles and what people quietly carry around with them. Whilst it takes me an average of 9 months to open up about anything!
Be kind. You never know how tightly people are holding their masks just to make it through the day. Our worlds have become so busy, laden with technology, to-do lists, fast paced, high pressured, next day deliveries and yet people of all ages are becoming more isolated. If you’re out of words remember;
A smile is the shortest distance between two people, even if the walls are falling down around you – connection is everything.
If it all gets too much, your alone and there are no smiles left, just take a look at these links, courtesy of a great ITV resource (saves hours of google trawling)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g butter
- 1 chopped onion
- 140g sliced chestnut mushrooms
- 15g dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
- 140g arborio rice
- 150ml sherry
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp chopped thyme
- 25g grated pecorino
- 1 slice of a goats cheese round, to finish
- Salt & pepper to season
- Place the dried mushrooms in a mug or small jug and cover with boiling water.
- Set aside for 10 minutes until softened
- Heat the oil and butter in a large deep frying pan
- Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until transparent and soft
- Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and fry for a further 2-3 mins
- Strain the porcini mushrooms and add to the frying pan
- Rinse the rice under cold water and drain
- Add the rice to the frying pan and coat with the onion and mushroom mixture
- Pour in the sherry and simmer over a moderate heat for about 3 minutes.
- Reduce to a gentle heat, add half of the stock, stir well and bring to a slow and gentle simmer
- Keep slowly adding the rest of the stock, stirring, simmering until the stock is absorbed
- Check the rice is tender, sometimes you may need to add a little more stock.
- Stir in the grated pecorino, save some back for finishing
- Add the thyme and stir through, save a sprig or three back for finishing
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper
- Portion into deep bowls, adding a slice of goats cheese in the middle
- Sprinkle the remaining pecorino and thyme
- Eat and enjoy!