May 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
This May in Australia saw the return of one of the worlds most incredible artists, the Purple One…. Prince.
Every time he graces our shores he plays a myriad of sold out concerts, performs secret shows that wow the lucky few that get to attend and reminds us all why he has endured year after year as one of the most popular artists on the planet.
There is one record for me that defines Prince… the 1984 masterpiece Purple Rain.
I was 11 years old when this album was released.
Now I already had a healthy appreciation for music at this point, but there was something about this record, maybe the fact that to me it was a complete album, every track as good as the next and all fitting together like a musical jigsaw.
What can you say about Purple Rain… the music, the songs and the attitude… so cool and so timeless… a musician at the peak of his craft, placing every single element where it needed to be.
I remember very clearly the day I first saw the video for “When Doves Cry” on Countdown… or my parents taking me to the Drive In to see “Purple Rain” the movie…. the first day I got my grubby little hands on that vinyl.
I spent months pouring over this record. I knew every word, tried (very badly I might add) to play every lick on my guitar at home and discovered the joy of the total abandonment that only music can truly bring.
I hope that my take on this classic dish pays homage to this amazing record, song, movie and artist… but lets face it… it could never compare!
PURPLE RAIN – Beetroot Risotto with Thyme, White Truffle Pecorino and Marscapone
Serves 4 Music Fans
2 Sprigs of Thyme
½ Cinnamon Stick
1 Bay Leaf
1 cup Carnaroli Rice
4 tablespoons Mascarpone
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
125 ml White Wine
1 litre Chicken or Vegetable stock (the vegetarian option)
100 g grated White Truffle Pecorino or Parmesan
Splash of good quality Olive Oil
Few tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons Butter
Good Splash of Olive Oil
1. Peel and roughly chop Beetroot… does not have to be perfect so don’t spend to much time on this…
2. Bring Chicken Stock to boil in saucepan
3. Add Beetroot, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon and Thyme to the stock and cook beetroot till it’s tender. I am not going to give a time, just test it with a fork.
4. When Beetroot is tender remove the Thyme, Cinnamon and Bay leaf.
5. COOL STOCK. I cannot emphasize this enough… if you don’t this next step is going to re-paint your walls purple. You can either just turn off the heat and leave it to cool, put it in the fridge or for those of you in a rush place saucepan in an ice bath… up to you!
6. Add cooled stock to blender and blend for 10 -15 seconds creating a vortex. If your stock has not been cooled you will notice that your walls and quite likely yourself is covered in a purple, volcanically hot liquid. Use a rubber spatula to clean down the sides and pulse blender until it is all pureed.
7. Put back on heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
8. Chop onions to the size of rice grains.
9. Chop garlic
10. Add a generous splash of Olive oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and sweat onions & garlic until soft.
11. Add rice and stir gently in pan.
12. Cook Rice until translucent and deglaze pan with white wine. It is perfectly reasonable to start drinking the rest of the bottle at this point… you have a lot of stirring to do!
13. Once wine has been absorbed by rice add a ladle of stock and continue to stir until absorbed. Repeat until rice is al dente’. This should take about 20 or so minutes, it should be firm to the bite… not crunchy but not mushy.
Okay, okay… stop here… I know what some of you are saying out there… I prefer to cook my risotto stirring… I prefer to just agitate the pan… I like to just leave mine…
I am not going to get into this debate; I value my personal safety way too much.
I have seen it done many different ways, this is the way I like…. Please use your beloved method if that’s what rocks your boat!
14. Turn of the heat and stir in butter and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
15. To serve place risotto in large flat bottom plate. Tap gently under the plate to spread the risotto. Garnish with a teaspoon of Mascarpone, chopped parsley, grated Pecorino and a drizzle of Olive oil.
I suggest cooking this meal and eating it to the album… if it takes you two runs through until you get to eat, well hey, at least it is an album worthy of a double play!