Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pick Me Up Pink Risotto

 The only thing worse than looking for a job in general is looking for a job in Portland during an economic slump.  Sitting in Madison in my soul draining cubicle eavesdropping on my 8th hour of phone calls for captioning I couldn't imagine anything worse that didn't involve working in a sewer.  I figured the fella and I would come out here with our crazy Midwestern work ethic and find jobs in days and live happily ever after.  The fella has had an okay time of it but I'm competing with the other 1000 people in town who want a coffee or wine shop job and it isn't going so well.

I've had a handful of interviews so I'm doing better than most.  The problem is all but two of the interviews have either been fake outs or hellish bait and switches.  I filled out an application for an ad to be a front desk person at a publishing company only to get there and be interviewed on the spot and told I could start today but guess what it's a telemarketing job.  I picked up my stuff and ran for the door.  I didn't move 2000 miles to sit in another cubicle.

Next I drove 30 minutes out of town to interview at a roadside coffee stand only to be told at the end of the interview that they really didn't have the money to hire anyone.  They just wanted to know if anyone was interested in working for them if business ever picked up.  Seriously? 

Next I apply to work at a Starbucks downtown (I know, I know but a girl needs to eat) only to get hauled into a secured room with 20 other people in a conference room with assigned seating.  We're all given 10 pages of questions like "do you consider yourself lucky?," "tell me about your favorite person you've ever worked with," "if you had to hire someone else in the room, who would it be?"

After a half hour a somewhat straighter version of Jack from Will and Grace comes into the room and tells us we will be interviewed as a group and he'll pick who will get the job by who can yell out the best answers over everyone else.  Really?  Oh by the way this isn't really a barista job it's to work room service 3rd shift at this hotel we're meeting at.  Surprise!  Also I picked you guys based on who had the best Facebook profiles because really I'm looking for a new best friend.  You have got to be kidding me!

This is my life.  I don't need to make anything up because stuff this weird just happens to me on a regular basis.  So perhaps you can understand why the job search has me a little down at the moment.  But you know what unemployed slackers like me have on you people with jobs?  I can open a bottle of wine at 1 in the afternoon to take the edge off and treat myself to a delicious lunch.  It's not something I make a habit of but sometimes it needs to happen in order to keep me from giving up and going to apply at one of the 100s of strip clubs just to have some sort of income.  Although that would bring a whole other level of weird to my life...

There was some overly tart 2010 Chilean rosé from Calcu in the fridge that was just too much to drink straight due to the heavy dose of Petit Verdot grapes in it that I thought would be great in a risotto.  Turns out I was right.  I threw in some baby artichokes and mushrooms and a fair amount of rosé in place of lemon juice and it was delightful.  It isn't the best risotto I've ever made but it was the pick me up I needed.

A couple weeks ago at the farmer's market the fella and I picked up an absolutely amazing syrah rosé made in the Rogue Valley of Oregon by Shy Chenin.  It's distributed by the Twist Wine Company that does tastings each week at the market.  That's right Madison friends, wine at the farmer's market and fruit trees; Portland is awesome.  It is everything I personally want out of a rosé the right blend of obvious sweet floral notes with a bit of tart herbal qualities on the finish.  And at $15 it's a nice but affordable treat.  This addictive beauty is what I drank with the risotto while relaxing from the job hunting tension. 

Rosé Risotto

Add Ins:
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 fresh baby artichokes, trimmed and quartered (or a handful from a can if you must)
1 cup mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegan butter spread
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup rosé wine
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper, to taste

Add Ins:
In a small pan heat the first tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  When it is warm add the trimmed artichokes to the pan and cook until tender.  If  you need detailed help preparing the artichokes check out the instructions here.  If you are using canned artichokes they don't need to be cooked so skip ahead to the risotto.  When the artichokes are nearly done add the mushroom to cook until just starting to get tender.

While the artichokes are cooking, in a large pot or deep pan over medium heat heat, melt the other tablespoon of oil and the vegan butter.  Add the garlic and cook until brown around the edges then throw in the rice, cooking for about a minute and stirring the entire time so the rice doesn't burn.

Begin adding the broth one ladleful at a time, add more as the rice absorbs the liquid, stirring frequently.  Keep adding broth until the rice is plump and al dente.  Use water when the broth runs out if necessary.  

When rice is finished cooking, stir in the rosé, vegan Parmesan, lemon zest and salt and pepper to your taste.  Continue cooking for another minute or so until warmed through then toss in the artichokes and mushrooms from the other pan and stir once more before serving.   

1 comment:

  1. I see you added the wine at the end. I tend to add it at the beginning. Not sure why, exactly, that's just how the first recipe I ever read did it.