Saturday, 11 October 2008

Cake Or Shoes?

As a shiny new university student (I'll have been here two weeks tomorrow; can't believe it) my cooking and baking compulsion habits have had to change a bit. This is largely due to the fact that I'm now shopping for myself, and having to use my own - perfectly good Topshop money - to buy food and ingredients.

I have trouble prioritising between Topshop and eating, so I don't exactly have money to spare on baking stuff. And now that I'm feeding myself, I find myself browsing Tastespotting and Food Blog Search for savoury, rather than sweet, ideas now... definitely a new experience for me.

I'm getting old, aren't I? Don't tell me. I'm old.

Excuse me while I weep, a moment.

This dish is a bit of a last hurrah, then - it's what I made for tea the night before I left home, two weeks ago, and uses pretty much the most indulgent ingredient I could get my (economic situation-defying) hands on; black truffles. Credit crisis be damned!

...Well, okay, I found these relatively cheaply in Spain. My friends were filling their suitcases with new clothes and bikinis; I was filling mine with an angry coconut in a sombrero and a stash of black truffles. Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong.

Anyway, with less chance to bake, Happy Love Strawberry may change a little in future - I'll probably post more savoury stuff (I do stick the odd thing in every now and then, in a little salute to nutrition) and dinners, and there'll probably be a little less excess (I'll save it for my visits home; you'll know I've been back when I post chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake squares XD. We can make a happy game of it). But I think you know me too well to believe I can go longer than about four days without a sugar fix ^__^.

Black Truffle Risotto
Adapted from a recipe by Shannon Bennett
Serves 2-3 (it did for three with us)

Chicken mushroom stock (around 5 cups/just over 1l)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
200g risotto rice
100ml dry white wine
30-50g black truffles, shaved
50g Parmesan cheese
50g butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the stock in a large sauce pan over low heat. Heat olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Add onion and stir until the onion is soft. Add rice and cook until all grains are coated with oil. Deglaze with the white wine and cook until evaporated.

2. Add in ½ cup (about 125ml) of hot stock. Stir until the rice absorbs the stock. Keep doing so until the risotto is cooked to your liking. In the final ladle of stock, add in the truffles (save a few slice for garnish).

3. Remove the rice from heat. Add in the cheese. Season. Serve immediately on warmed plates. Garnish with truffles shavings.

...What d'you reckon? Sugar or Topshop; cake, or shoes?


Beth (jamandcream) said...

I finished Uni 4 years ago and I was exactly like you - 'I'm going to have to make proper meals for myself now'!!!Bit gutted but got over it. You'll be fine

Joey Joe said...

I totally understand what you mean about craving savory foods in college. I'm always hungry and I would kill for a great burger or some chicken or something...that doesn't mean I wouldn't eat a dozen cookies though!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Black truffle risotto is certainly going out in style!

Enjoy uni, but yes, it will severely curtail your cooking habits, I'm sure.

The Caked Crusader said...

Cake every time. But I might be biased!

PS. You haven't gone wrong, you've just reached "right" quicker than most!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Risotto and truffles are the perfect indulgence before you head off to university. My daughter is in university and makes a lot of Thai food and stir sushi:D She is not a Kraft Mac 'n Cheese kind of starving student kind of a gal:D

grace said...

as long as you don't completely abandon the sweets, i suppose more savory stuff'll be all right. :)

Emily Rose said...

haha! I know what you mean- you think about food differently when you start buying your own! The University I attended was in a very mountainous and rural area and I had very little access to many spices and herbs that I was used to cooking with in a big city!! Enjoy your time as a student- it will pass quickly!

Gigi said...

great recipe! i am at university as well but live in an apt. so will gladly exchange sweet baked goodies for savory food! :)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Are you enjoying Uni? I bet you'll do as great in the savory department as in the sweet! Black truffle? You treat yourself good girl!

priscilla joy said...

thanks so much for stopping by my blog! this looks delicious - yummy!

Y said...

Shoes, definitely shoes. Once you start changing your priorities to cake (like I have), then it's time to acknowledge that you're getting old! The good thing is once you're out of Uni and start earning a bit of money, then you can have the best of both worlds, because no matter how much cake you eat, the shoes will always fit ;)

Anonymous said...

Cake - you can buy shoes anytime. Although you could use that argument for cakes too. I don't know!

Prudy said...

What a great indulgent meal! I've got to check out your sweets too.

Anonymous said...

The shoes will be out of style in 3 months... fabulous baking? Always in fashion.

Rosie said...

Risotto and truffles an outstanding treat before you go to uni. Please don't completely turn your back on cake ;)

Rosie x

Maria♥ said...

Black truffle risotto sounds and looks so wonderfully delish!

I would choose shoes each and every time!!


Anonymous said...

this makes me miss you, and you're cooking. The cheesecake especially it epitomises your wonderful baking skills in my mind. I know about the finance thing but me and josh are buying ingredients sometime this week and making cookies and watching sex in the city XD. so don't abandon the sweets darlink, you're just so goddamn good at them.
I love you and I miss you and keep baking lovely. speak soon.
your bestest and most loving and loyalist wifey
Maili xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
p.s. cake, always cake, cake feels good and tastes good but generally SHOES HURT, if we're thinking hot heels type of shoes. which I know is what you mean.

test it comm said...

I have been wanting to try truffle for a while. The risotto looks good.

creampuff said...

Well it looks like you'll be feeding yourself in grand style ... you've clearly got great taste (no pun intended)! Love the risotto!

Anonymous said...

I hope you're enjoying uni life thus far! And no worries, bring on the savoury! Just don't forget to come back to those chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake squares :P

Cakelaw said...

That's a tough call - I would never be able to decide ...

Zo said...

If you can, pair up with one other person. Cooking for two is easy, and so is cleaning up, and you can pool your resources a bit more. I used to share with 4 but schedules clashed etc. If you really want to save money, forgo processed stuff. Also, I know this may seem like weird advice (off the topic of money now), but don't buy low fat stuff. Fat is good (even the saturated kind is better than trans), and far better for your than refined sugar (which low fat is invariably loaded with).

Rant almost done, I promise.

Lastly, avoid the supermarket at all costs - they're usually more expensive than markets.'ve inspired me to do a whole post on it now :)