Earthy. Good word, right? I’m all about earthy these post-Christmas days, merrily reading The Pillars of the Earth, relishing the descriptions of 12th century English peasants enjoying their “horse bread” (multi-grain) dipped in ale, their fire-roasted meats washed down with homemade wine, their thick ham-n-cabbage soups, served with slabs of farmer’s cheese. Rarrr, I’m a total sucker for rustic-food writing of that sort.
Which made me enjoy tonight’s last-minute dinner even more. I had John stop for a rack of lamb on his way home, and stirred up a batch of truffly risotto while I waited for him, and we ate both accompanied by the earthiest of wines – a 2003 Turley Paso Robles Zinfandel, heavenly. In fact, if you notice (in my lame phone-photo, sorry, my camera is at Stacey’s), there are flecks of what appears to be black pepper in the risotto, but no, it’s char from the grilled lamb juices. Yep, I decadently stirred the carved lamb meat juices into the risotto, before a finishing shower of freshly grated Parm and a sprinkle of truffle oil and coarse salt, and I dare you to find an earthier combo. (Recipe for risotto in comments, below.)
John and I just looked at each other and giggled like the 12th century English peasants we’re not – John the Jew of York and his mistress, Stephanie Ricemaker of Lake and Field. Har!