I am so thankful that we successfully mastered time travel! Aside from the obvious information we get like the winning lotto numbers and who to bet on at the track on a boozy Wednesday afternoon, it is such a joy to be able to go back and reconnect with our friends that have passed … or to correct condiment catastrophes.
We first met dear Otis Redding while we were children singing in the Vineville Baptist Church choir. Otis is the first person to ever put us on the right path; Annelie and I joined the choir to get close enough to loot the collections after each service but young Otis caught us and instead of sending us to juvie, befriended us and tried to help us lead an honest life up until his untimely death (which inspired us to write the hit and then shit TV series LOST).
During our too-brief friendship, we were able to enjoy a highly successful writing partnership culminating in the hit some (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay … which you know are not the lyrics I was suggesting while we were on a romantic working holiday in Sausalito.
Remembering the time fondly and wanting to stop Otis from getting on the plane, Annelie and I set the time machine to 1967, aka the beautiful time that we wrote the song. Obviously while there, we were also hoping to secure some Bay Area property to avoid being priced out by the tech boom, but it was mainly to see Ot.
Always the gentleman, it was such a thrill to see Otis again! Despite some annoying Hermione-with-the-time-turner logistical issues to start, we were able to talk down our past selves (by paying them off with future money to ultimately buy property. Yep, genius bribe idea) and spend some much need relaxation time with Ots.
He casually strummed his guitar (for once, this is not a euphemism) and put the finishing touches on his beautiful song while we got to work making his favourite meal Risottis Redding (with Annelie and I wishing the other wasn’t there ruining the romantic mood, and in her case, forcing me to cook in clothing).
Like our dearly departed friend, risotto is a homely, delicate dish with so many notes depending on how you make it. Risottis is a very simple version of the Italian classic, with a light mix of herbs and cheese creating a sweet base for the robust and salty prosciutto, topped with some leftover pork meatballs and pesto to give an added kick.
4 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups arborio rice
½ cup white wine
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
black pepper, freshly ground
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
½ batch Christopher Porken Meatballs
Toni Basil Pesto, to taste
Bring the stock to boil in a large saucepan over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and prosciutto, stirring, until soft. About 5 minutes.
Pour the rice into the pan and cook, again stirring, for a further three minutes before adding the white wine and salt. Continue to stir until all of the wine has been absorbed. Add a cup of chicken stock and continue to stir vigorously as it absorbs. When it is almost all gone, add another cup and repeat the process until all of the stock is gone.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the butter, parmesan, pepper and rosemary. Season to taste.
Generously ladle into bowls and serve with freshly cooked meatballs and pesto.