Timballo di Riso

Some years ago I went to this restaurant. We had a nice meal and I remember I tried something totally new: “Timballo di riso”. It was super tasty, it wasn’t a normal risotto (that still I haven’t master it…) and it wasn’t a pasta dish. So I only managed to take a picture of the ingredients, because I finished it too quick. Since then, I had it into my to-cook list but finally I decided to try after checking some videos. This was the source for my attempt.

Original Ingredients:

  • Arborio rice, saffron, B├ęchamel sauce (milk, nutmeg, salt, butter, whipping cream, flour type 00), Vegetal broth ( celery, carrots, onion, broccoli, zucchini), Fontina cheese, ham, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt

My ingredients:

  • Glass of risoto rice.
  • 2 glasses of boiling water
  • 1 cube of stock
  • 100g of butter
  • pinch of saffron (or similar)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • bechamel / white sauce:
  • – 50g butter
  • – 1/2 glass of flour
  • – 2 glass of milk
  • – nutmeg, pepper and salt
  • 250g cure ham cut in small pieces.
  • 1 mozzarella ball
  • chopped parsley
  • grated Parmesan
  • breadcrumbs

Process:

  • In a big pan and medium heat, put the boiling water, stock cube, butter, saffron and bay leaves.
  • Once all mixed, add the rice. Let it cook at low heat until it gets dense. Stir from time to time to be sure it doesn’t stick.
  • Let the rice to cool down in a try.
  • Prepare the bechamel sauce. In a pan, melt the butter, add the flour. Once it is combined like a brown paste, start adding milk bit by bit. It should start to form a sauce. Add nutmeg, pepper and salt. Keep adding milk. At the end you should have a creamy tasty sauce.
  • Put the ham and shredded mozzarella with the bechamel. Add the parsley.
  • Add the rice to the bechamel mix. Combine everything. Add the mix into a ovenproof glass dish.
  • Top the dish with a layer of grated Parmesan and then another of breadcrumbs.
  • To the oven at 180C until golden on top (20 minutes)

Here we go!

To be honest, I don’t remember the taste so I can’t compare but it was taste. It is like a risoto without mushrooms but with cheesy bechamel!

So again, I liked it, I enjoyed cooking and had a good lunch for the work days! I don’t need much more (enjoy my job?)

This time is not different

I had this book in the pipeline. It is a bit technical but is interesting as it tries to provide data for several centuries about financial crisis. That is quite challenging not just because governments from middle age didn’t have much accountability but even nowadays the authors struggled getting hard number regarding domestic debt.

The book was written about the subprime crises in 2007-8 so that’s the main focus to proof that the event is not that different from other crisis. And it is remarkable how many crisis I have been through since 1980s without really noticing (but my parent sure they noticed…)

The book preface is super direct. The one common theme to most crisis is the excessive debt accumulation (governments, banks, corps, consumers). Even during a boom. So debt-fueled booms are not very healthy. And it was proved during the subprime that the financial markets dont correct themselves.

One of the most interesting points of the whole book is the evolution of default-prone countries (like France and Spain) to “stable” ones. This graduation process is long and hard, and not many pass the exam. As well, there are a lot figures about deb before 1929 crash, post WWII to put thing in perspective.

So it was interesting read mainly for the historic background and our psychological naivety during crisis times. At the end of the day, the economic is a cycle.

Cocido

I have done some lentils and beans stew before haven’t tried chickpeas stew “cocido” before. And I fancied a good homemade cocido soup! So as I had my last piece of cure ham in the freezer, I went for it. This is a proper cocido, but I used the ingredients I had at hand and the result was very tasty. That’s what matters to me.

Ingredients

  • 1 piece of cure ham
  • 1 chicken breast sliced
  • 1 portion of chorizo
  • 1 potato
  • 1 cup of chickpeas cover on water from the day before
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt, pepper
  • Paprika (pimenton!)
  • Some greens: I used chard
  • 2-3 handfuls of fideos

Process

  • Get a big pan, put all ingredients apart from the greens and fideos
  • Fill the pan with boiling water. Put the pan at medium heat until start boiling. We want plenty of liquid for the soup!
  • Reduce heat till simmer. Stir from time to time for 1 hour of so.
  • Taste the liquid, it should have a strong flavour. If the potatoes, chickpeas and carrot are soft, we are nearly done.
  • Add the green and fideos. Stir for couple of minutes until the fideos are cooked. The greens will boil and keep a nice color.
  • Shred the ham so it releases all juices. Mix all together

All done, it is quite easy. And had a tasty lunch for the work week!