A while back, I blogged about 1972. Such a good year.
1972 brought us Exile on Main Street…
Many interesting things going on in 1972.
In my 1972 post I mentioned Gourmet Magazine. Such a good magazine that was, and a travesty that its publication ceased so abruptly. I had obtained the February 1972 edition in honor of my birthday.
And recently, for the first time really, I was sitting and looking through my new treasure, when my husband noticed an ad that seemed interesting. He reached over, took the magazine by the cover, and pulled it toward him so that he could have a closer look. And the 40-year-old paper, being in a brittle state, ripped down the middle right at the staples, and my pristine copy was no more.
And so I turned again to Ebay in search of a new copy and found, instead, an entire binder filled with all 12 issues of Gourmet from 1972. And I figured, you know, to ease the trauma of losing my February copy, I deserved the entire 1972 collection.
And that is how I became the owner of my newest little collection, which my husband is not allowed to touch. And the seller even threw in a few 1973 editions, as a little bonus.
As I was looking through my new binder of goodies, I got to thinking about how much fun it might be to, every month, cook up a little something from each edition. And then spring it on my readers. Who then get to try to make sense of my weird obsessions.
To be honest, it took a little bit to find something that I actually wanted to cook from the January edition. The main feature, nestled between an article on cheeses and a food tourist’s account on traveling in Corsica, explored dishes inspired by room service entrees at the finest hotels.
Although I am not exactly interested in preparing these dishes, I found them fascinating to ponder…
Remember, this was over 40 years ago. Gourmet cooking was still very formal, very French, reflecting a static formality that is not seen as much in this era of Rachel Ray and Jamie Oliver and whatnot. Cooks today seem to be attracted to effortless, casual fare.
My selection for this month was found not in the featured articles but in the “You Asked For It” section, in which readers wrote in requesting specific recipes from specific restaurants (or just recipes in general), or sharing their own favorite creations.
Here, a reader requests a good mushroom and rice recipe. The editors offer an Italian risotto, but throughout the recipe proceed to use the words risotto and rice interchangeably. Some tips for this recipe:
I used the risotto.
Where they mention a large “casserole”, I used what some people call a Dutch oven, or a large pot.
I bought mushrooms that were sliced, but then sliced them a bit more thinly.
It seems to me that adding the liquid a little at a time, as the recipe suggests, and then stirring until the liquid is absorbed, is the way to go. I added a quarter cup at a time.
I pretty much followed the recipe very specifically, except for the little matter of the truffles. You see, when I walked into the fine foods store and asked for truffles, I didn’t question what I was handed, which turned out to be, in fact, black truffles, as opposed to the white truffle as required by the recipe.
I hardly think it matters though, as the flavor is so mild, and I truly believe that they are just for effect. I believe I am lucky to have found any truffles in my town.
Here are my black truffles, in case you wondered…
They resemble lumps of coal, do they not? I went ahead and used all four, because, what the heck do I need with the other three? They looked a little more edible when I sliced them up…
I would describe their texture as slightly more dense than that of a mushroom, and their flavor is somewhat nutty.
They made a nice addition to the risotto, but are by no means essential.
My finished product….
…most definitely a keeper. Delicious, buttery, mushroom-y, pasta. I’m pleased that I chose it.