Innovative Gourmet Flavor Combinations

Welcome! I've always enjoyed unusual flavor combinations. I am committed to continuing this pleasure, while eating healthy. I hope this blog will allow me to share ideas for eating healthy without losing the excitement of innovative recipes.

I am a follower of the diet plan of Dr. Eric Berg, which in my case means gluten-free, alkaline, low-fat; my health and figure have improved vastly with this. This also fits with raw-food, vegetarian, and Weston Price (nutrient-dense), D'Adamo's Eat Right For Your Type, the Perricone Weightloss Diet, and the proportions follow Barry Sears's 40-30-30 Zone Diet. Organic, ecologic, and local-eating are also guiding principles. (Interesting how they all overlap.)

But looking around the Net, and in books, a lot of what's offered for "gluten-free" eating is versions of baked goods, and imitations of wheat dishes like pizza and burritos. You won't find that here. This site will present a complete re-thinking of how to be "gluten-free".

And followers of chef Michael Roberts and khymos, as well as lovers of Japanese creativeness (as in Iron Chef) should also find gourmet ideas here. The recipes will not just echo American cooking, but present new combinations.

Some of the reasons for this way of eating are: autism, perhaps aspergers, "celiac disease", obesity, perhaps cancer and who knows what else. You won't find the word "disease" used here though. As D'Adamo explains, a large part of the world's population (mostly with "O-blood type") never got the genes to adapt to eating the new foods of wheat, etc that came into the diet during the Neolithic. So don't call it a disease! We are actually an older human type. We're not sick; we just don't have that new-fangled adaption that some folks have. And looking into traditional diets shows that much of the world did not have wheat until very recently, and got along just fine. I know I'm eating quite well. I don't miss gluten at all.

Enough! Welcome to my kitchen . . .

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Glory of Risotto - thank you Italy!

Risotto is very easy and quick to make, 

but there are a couple basic things you must do in order for it to be risotto:

1) Saute the rice in whatever oil you are using, with flavorings,

and, even if you don't do #1:

2) Cook your flavorings WITH the rice, from the beginning of the recipe.

Risotto is risotto because the flavorings are cooked into the rice.

Risotto is also typically thick and sticky when cooked.

I've read that it's not a good idea to stir the risotto rice while it's cooking.


All risottos start with:

chicken (or vegetable) broth (remove all the fat you can) 

dry white wine or dry sherry (optional but good)

butter &/or olive oil

[salt - optional; will intensify flavor, but better for your health if you use seasonings to do this instead]

Then you modify the seasonings to go with the other ingredients, i.e.:

Mushroom Risotto:

mushrooms (i.e. porcini, cepes &/or shiitake, portobello, and chanterelle), 

onion, garlic, parmesan cheese + basil

Thai Red Curry Risotto:

onion, ginger, garlic, paprika

Thai red curry paste

shiitake or other mushrooms

coconut milk


fresh cilantro

1 lime, cut into wedges

Pork and Persimmon Risotto:

pork tenderloin, fat trimmed, sliced thin or chopped

Fuyu persimmons 

minced shallots, ground allspice, pepper

crumbled blue cheese

minced parsley

Here's a combination I consider perfect:

caramelized artichokes, onions and scallops 

with accent of bacon bits, thyme and creamy goat cheese

(from Plumpjack, San Francisco)

Then you can get fancy:

Squash Blossom Risotto:

chopped onion and garlic


assorted summer squash, half grated, half diced

Parmesan cheese

squash blossoms

risotto cakes with squash blossoms, pine nuts, and Parmesan (from Zuni, San Francisco)

Asparagus, Salsify and Truffles Risotto (ingredients as named)

Roasted Alaskan halibut filet on Dungeness crab risotto with meyer lemon salsa (from Sea Salt, Berkeley)

Rabbit with watercress purée, miner’s lettuce, carrot risotto, fava beans (from Iron Chef winner Dan Siegel)

Rice cremosa: a risottolike cake baked with spinach, leek bouillon, and raisins, topped with paper-thin fried greens (from Lorca, San Francisco)

Risotto is good pan-grilled after the rice and ingredients are fully cooked by boiling.

Arancini - I may post this separately.

And here's a breakfast of risotto, if you have left-overs:

Risotto Cereal with Anise-Coriander Sugar and Milk

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