Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Dish Set Challenge II: Forrest

Welcome to The Dish Set Challenge II. The rules are changing and the challenge is no longer what will I eat? The Challenge now is who I am eating with. At the end of my recent 30 days project now known as, The Dish Set Challenge I. I felt a void in the project and after some reflection I realized the void was my husband Forrest. When we are together we love cooking, visiting the farmers market, and doing anything that involves good food! We are currently living very far apart so that we can both pursue an MFA in Ceramics. We both share the same love and passion for the ceramics arts but distance makes a relationship with each other very trying. Forrest is in Louisiana at LSU and because he is headed into his thesis semester we decided it would be best if we spend Christmas together in Louisiana so that we could work in the studio. So the idea came to me, I decided I was going to make a dish set with the same intent to use everyday for every meal but this set would be different, Forrest was going to be apart of it. I designed and made a connected dish set for the two of us. I knew from the beginning the set would pose a great challenge for us but I hoped it would also be a fun experiment. So I headed south on a two-day bus trip and I carried the unglazed dish set with me every step of the way. I surprised Forrest (he sure does love my surprises!) and told him to make this truly collaborative he was to glaze it. So it is glazed with a simple green stain that is wiped away and a clear glaze for simplicity.
We decided to carry this project out for one week. We hope that you will follow along on this exciting adventure that we are sharing together. Welcome to our world that can pretty much be summed up in:
“Forrest I need a drink” -Jeni
“I am still eating”- Forrest
“Please” –Jeni
“Please” –Jeni
“Please” –Jeni
“Forrest how much longer….” –Jeni

And then we drink together in shared a experience like none I have ever had before.
 The first full day of the project was already a challenge. I guess the title of this project holds true. We started the morning with our morning routine (aloe juice, cherry juice, & turmeric). We made reservations and decided to visit Another Broken Egg Café. We do not go out to eat very often but since it was Christmas Eve Day we decided on something special. Special very quickly turned into us walking back to our car. They had completely rejected us. I understand they were busy, the server was very nice but I guess the management did not understand the project because before we walked out they tried to convince us to stay because they could deliver the food in a to-go container and we could re-plate it ours selves…. I think not! Thank goodness for Forrest he made the decision for us and we walked right out. The problem was that we had not had breakfast and we were getting grumpy fast. We looked up and realized Jason’s Deli was next door we did not have anything to loose so we went on in. They were so happy to see us and excited to be apart of our project. They even took the plate back with them and plated our sandwiches on it.

Jeni & Forrest’s Saffron Beet Risotto

10 cups  low sodium vegetable stock
2 pinches saffron
2 cups risotto rice Arborio or Carnaroli is the best!
¼ cup coconut oil, divided
½ - 1 onion
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4-6 medium golden beets
½ bag frozen peas
½ roasted colored bell pepper, chopped
10 roasted asparagus
1 cup parmesan-reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the beet greens and wash the beets. Wrap them in tin foil, drizzle with coconut oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast beets at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
In a large pan heat the stock on medium high heat. Remove a little broth from the heat and add 2 pinches saffron, let it infuse for at least 10 minutes, a little goes a long way.
In a cast iron skillet roast the pepper and asparagus along side the beets for 20-30 minutes. Chop the asparagus into bite size pieces.
In a large heavy bottom skillet sauté the onion and the garlic with a little coconut oil, about 5 minutes. Add in the rice stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes the rice should begin to swell and change color. Add the saffron mixture and stir until absorbed. Begin adding the warm stock about 1 cup at a time, continue stirring until liquid is absorbed 20-30 minutes. Keep ½ cup stock separate.
Remove from heat and add the beets, peas, pepper, asparagus, and cheese mix well. Adjust the consistency with the remaining stock.
Sauté the fresh spinach with a little coconut oil, plate the risotto and garnish with spinach.

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