This month and year, I'm finishing off my three-year project of reading and cooking from the Time-Life Foods of the World series. The last book is Time-Life Foods of the World: The Cooking of Italy. Several dishes are on the plan for the rest of this month.
Tonight I roasted a chicken. For sides, I made half recipes of Riso al Limone (p20) and Broccoli alla Romana (p35). Both of these were fairly easy, tasty, and likely to be made again.
For the Riso al Limone, you start by boiling arborio rice (or one of its relatives) in ample water. The book asks for six quarts of water for one cup of rice. When the rice is done, after about 15 minutes, drain it. Then melt butter in a flameproof casserole. (I used the same pan I cooked the rice in and served in a warmed bowl). Stir in the rice, then stir in beaten eggs that have been mixed with grated Parmesan and lemon juice. (The recipe asked three eggs for the whole recipe; I used one egg for my half recipe. It was plenty rich.) Cook this for several minutes, then serve while the rice is still creamy. Very nice.
This book asks for "imported Italian rice" for all the rice recipes. This is perfect for risottos and such, but I'm not really sure if it's needed for this dish. I'll try it with long-grain rice next time. It might even be good with brown rice.
The Broccoli all Romana was also very good. You start by infusing some olive oil with finely chopped garlic. Add broccoli florets and stir to coat till they're glistening. Add white wine, salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Cooking this uncovered for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Then cover and simmer for another 15 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Remove the broccoli to a bowl or platter. Boil down the liquid if there's too much, then pour it over the broccoli.
December at Cookbook Countdown means folks can cook from books they've used during the year, or start with a new one. Why don't you choose a cookbook from your shelf and join in?