Thursday, July 17, 2008

Breakfast #22: Risotto Patty with Prosciutto and Egg and Pesto

I am the world’s lousiest recipe name giver.

When I think about food there is always a fantastical backdrop, the stage is littered with metaphor and simile, and sometimes reckless exaggeration trips the actors up (although they don’t mind). The colors are vibrant or soft, the textures play tricks on my tongue, the smells bring me backwards or forwards in time, and the flavours...they make me see stars, and other worlds, and limitless possibilities, and sometimes if I’m lucky, a bright green fairy that grants three wishes. This is what’s in my heads and under my skin when I think of food.

When I write this all down and have it sorted into a recipe, the fanfare suddenly quiets. I have successfully captured all the essentials to be able to repeat the experience, but none of the tra-la-la is left for the recipe’s name.

Which is why it reads like a list of ingredients instead of something more exciting.

This could have been:
  • Italian Eggs Benedict (which was really my peg and inspiration for this breakfast)
  • Arancini con Prosciutto e l'uovo (I could have gone down the fancy foreign language path – since I am irrationally attracted to recipe names that I don’t understand anyway)
  • What to do with Leftover Risotto Breakfast (Explanatory title)
  • I’m too Lazy to make real Arancini (really, deep frying is such work...especially for breakfast...especially for leftovers)
  • ChichaJo’s Breakfast Special (um, one of those titles that say nothing really about the dish itself...until I reach my magnum opus this will never happen...perhaps not even then)

I guess I just don’t like titles.

Risotto Patty with Prosciutto and Egg and Pesto
  • 1/2 cup leftover risotto
  • 2-3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
  • 3 slice prosciutto
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon pesto

- Form the risotto into a patty. I like to pack it into the measuring cup as it comes out formed into a nice uniform shape that I just have to flatten a bit. Coat this all over in the breadcrumbs. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to fry it.
- Prepare your pesto. I use my basic recipe for basil pesto, substituting the pili nuts for pine nuts and almonds. In truth, I just stick (more or less) to the quantities and use any herb/nut combination I want, many times using the pesto as a final resting place for little bits of nuts and herbs! Store in a jar (tightly covered and in the fridge) with a thin film of olive oil to cover the top surface of the pesto.
- Bring a saucepan of water, with a small glug of vinegar, to a rapid simmer.
- While you are waiting for your water to simmer, heat oil in a skillet. Once oil is hot lay risotto patty in the pan and fry until the bottom is golden. Flip patty and fry until the other side is golden and has developed a nice crust. Set aside.
- When the water in the saucepan has reached a rapid simmer, it’s time to poach your egg. Say a prayer (this is how I poach eggs). Crack the egg into a small bowl. With a wooden spoon make a little whirlpool in the water. Now gently (gently!) slip egg into the center of the whirlpool. Don’t freak out as alien strings of egg white churn wildly in the water. I’ll keep my egg in there for about 2 minutes (you can keep it in for more – whites should be firm and yolks done to your liking). Turn off the heat and gently (gently!) pick up egg with a slotted spoon. Brush off alien egg white strings and pat excess water off with a paper towel (Sorry Earth!).
- Arrange prosciutto slices on risotto patty. Top with egg and pesto.

These are the quantities that will serve one – you can multiply it all you want to make a breakfast for two or a brunch for 12. Despite my longish explanations above (I just wanted to be thorough), it is very simple to make and can easily be put together in the morning. You can shape and coat the risotto patty the night before and the pesto can be prepared in advance as well.

Suffice to say I have an inordinate amount of leftover risotto lying around so I will be making more of these patties. They are a bit simpler to prepare and cook than arancini (which is another reason why I dare not call them so) and can be served with many things. Try them as a side for meat or fish...or make smaller patties and place them in a salad. I think mini-patties topped with a smidgen of pesto or salsa verde would make a great appetizer.

I love Eggs Benedict but this has definitely given it a run for its money among my list of breakfast favorites. The combination of creamy risotto and salty prosciutto, bound with the richness of a runny egg yolk and punctuated by the zesty pesto is definitely worthy of a title to match any Italian aria...too bad I'm the one writing the recipe. I guess the food will have to speak for itself. Which is actually the way I prefer it :)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

a great idea! It looks very good!



Dolores said...

I don't care *what* you call it; I'm just glad you shared it! Yum!

Franco said...

Hi Joey,. I agree with dolores. You could call it Shirley.:) It really wouldn't matter. It simply looks delicious. :)

Dhanggit said...

is this one yummy yummy breakfast!! i love it!

LyB said...

I love all the "possible titles" you could have given this breakfast dish. But I agree with everyone else, call it what you want, I'd just happily eat it and call it a day! :)

Veron said...

who cares what it is called. this looks yum-yum good!

The Knittymommy said...

Goodness, Jo. It's mouthwatering. I just had a south beach style eggs benedict breakfast today. Your version takes the cake.

Joanna said...

Oh geez, I just ate a crappy over-processed granola bar for breakfast, and now you show me this?? No fair! It looks incredible! (Although leftover risotto is not often a problem for me...)

Also, I did end up making the salsa verde you posted -- I used less oil and added some mayonnaise, and it made a really delicious dip for steamed artichokes. Thanks for the recipe! :)

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Rosa! :)

Hi Dolores! Haha! Glad you liked it :)

Franco! Hahahaha! I’m still laughing at that “Shirley”...omg, that was so random! But thank you!

Hi Dhanggit! It does hit the spot :)

Hi Lyb! At the end of the day I think that I just can’t bring myself to give a recipe a fancy name...I am strange!

Hi Veron! Thanks! And to think it was just to use up leftover risotto!

Hi KM! What is a South Beach style eggs Benedict? Do I really want to know? Heehee...I champion the cause of carbs everywhere!

Hi Joanna! Glad to hear you enjoyed the salsa verde! With mayo and steamed artichokes sounds incredible!!! I must try that one day (especially now that someone is finally importing fresh artichokes here) :)

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

A *risotto patty with prosciutto and egg and pesto* with any other name will still be taste as delicious. Okay, that didn't have quite the same ring as that line about the rose smelling sweet. But who cares, eh? Looks great, tastes great. ;)

Marvin said...

I guess I need to start saying prayers when cracking open an egg. No matter how hard I try, I always manage to break a yolk when making eggs sunny-side up, or when separating yolks for ice cream! I'd probably fare a lot worse if I attempted to poach! And I hate those alien egg white strings;P

Another great looking recipe joey, no need to worry about titles when your pictures are so wonderful!

Shreya said...

all so new to me:-) But looks really grt!

Sophie said...

yum yum, I am a huge breakfast addict...though I love the pancakes, I can't deny the savory goodness of this hearty breakfast! :) Lovely presentation too!

oggi said...

Italian rice for breakfast sounds so delicious! The oozing egg yolk looks pretty.:)

coffeepot said...

Just call it yum.

betty q. said...

That is one yummy looking breakfast...Hey, Ms.'s one for does TUSCAN HAM AND EGGS sound to you?

mtan said...

Eggs Bennie by any name is equally yummy (to paraphrase G Stein), it just looks great! Can you send me a photo of the yolk spilling out onto the prosciutto??? I love looking at runny egg yolks, it makes me hungry.

lobstersquad said...

I´d serve that for a dinner party, it looks so chic!

Jen Tan said...

a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet! =)

it looks absolutely delicious joey! eggs ben...with rice!!!! i like risotto balls as is...what more with prosciutto..egg and pesto??? oooohhh lalala..I wish I was your neighbor!

Peabody said...

The risotta cake/patty is such a great and unique twist. Love it.

ChichaJo said...

Hi JS! I guess this dish by any name is still this dish so we’ll call it whatever we want ;)

Hi Marvin! I always break eggs into a little bowl first before slipping them in a pan so they don’t break...whether I’m frying or poaching. Poaching is not as difficult as it seems...and ignore those wacky egg white strings! I haven’t found a way to avoid I just ignore them and fish my egg out when its ready, and leave the strings behind like a bad memory ;)

Hi Shreya! Thanks!

Hi Sophie! Thank you! As you can tell, big breakfast fan here too :) I love pancakes but my husband is sweet-breakfast-challenged so I don’t have them all the we’ve got a lot savory breakfasts here!

Hi Oggi! Oozing egg yolk is always a sight I like to see! I’ll have my yolks runny or not at all!

Haha! Ok, Coffeepot! ;)

Hi Betty Q! Oooh! That does sound fancy...right out of a cookbook!

Hi M! Runny egg yolks rock! Truly :)

Hi Ximena! With a bit of salad this would make a nice dinner I think :) And mini versions, maybe without the egg, would make great appetizers with drinks!

Hi Jen! I wish you were too...C doesn’t really like risotto and I still have leftovers! Anyhoo, if you have leftover risotto there are so easy to make...and open to many variations! I just had one for lunch topped with sautéed mustasa leaves with almonds and cilantro pesto...yum!

Hi Peabody! Me too...and it’s easy to make...and it gets rid of leftovers :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'll never understand why people have a problem with left overs. Your risotto is simply an ingredient made ahead; it's a prep step - or am I just having fun with titles . . .
This doesn't need a name: just be sure to call me for breakfast, lunch or dinner when this is on the menu! Beautiful.

Manggy said...

Hey, you know me-- my vote is for the hoity-toity Italian name, of course! :P It fits such an elegant-looking dish! :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Joey, remember the "a rose is still a rose..." thing? Well, my friend, this is delicious and wonderful no matter how you call it!

Helen said...

I was really worried then that you weren't going to go for the porn shot of the oozing egg yolk - but then all was ok in the end! It looks really, really good.

AnticiPlate said...

I definitely understand your frustration with naming recipes. I always go for the simple and clear and hopefully try to make it on one line so I can fit it into my blog! This looks delicious even if the name is only what is says....:)

Erin said...

Oh my goodness, yolk dripping everywhere. . .mmm.

I have the same issue coming up with names.

Sherra said...

Oh my, that food shot made me really salivate. I would love to have it on our own plate.

Ling said...

Ah, Joey - sheer genius!! Still giggling over Franco's "Shirley" suggestion as I type this... ! :D


Jescel said...

hmnn.. good. forget about the creative titles, the photo speaks for itself. besides, there's a benefit of naming the "ingredients" in the title - it makes it easier to find you when you google it! :oD

Srivalli said...

my have some breathtaking pictures here...I just didn't know which one was more beautiful...if I get to eat such beautiful creations ...won't ever want to miss bf!

White On Rice Couple said...

I do love your recipe names! Again, I just love the pesto and again, I'll have to smell some of my basil again to remind me of your beautiful dish!

Midge said...

Hi, Joey. Loved the recipe. I was thinking you could call it Prima Colazione Milanese (Milanese breakfast) in honor of the fact that Milanese risotto is the standard by which most versions of the dish are judged. ^_^

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tanna! “An ingredient made ahead”...I like that! Thanks for a new light on leftovers :)

Hi Manggy! Haha! I’m surprised I didn’t put a fancy French name there either, hehe ;) But really, I can’t bring myself to actually use fancy names...I’m weird/shy like that :)

Hi Patricia! Yes I do...thanks! :)

Hi Helen! I couldn’t resist! It was begging to be pricked so I got a toothpick, poked it, and started shooting and crossing my fingers! :)

Hi Kari! Yes, I’d rather go with the simple and clear too...although this one didn’t make it to just one line!

Hi Erin! I looove runny egg yolk :)

Hi Sherra! Isn’t egg the simple but can look so sexy! :)

Thanks Ling! I know! “Shirley” caught me totally off guard and was giggling about it the whole day!

Hi Jescel! You are so right! I hadn’t thought of that...I now feel totally justified :)

Hi Srivalli! Thank you so much for the nice comment! :)

Hello White on Rice Couple! Thank you! I love pesto too :) Have another bottle in my fridge as I type :)

Hi Midge! Oohoo! Another swanky Italian name for me :)

tami said...

holy cow that looks good :) that might be my dream breakfast!!!!

Tim said...

That looks so damn good. I want to make risotto just to have leftovers for this dish :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tami! Thanks! It's definitely one of mine :) And you can make other combinations as well...

Hi Tim! Heehee...and you can use the risotto patties in other ways too!

Kevin said...

This sounds like an amazing breakfast!

Gourmet Traveller said...

Eggs Benedict are what I've been craving for all throughout this pregnancy. I know that undercooked eggs and lashings of hollandaise are not recommended for pregnant mums but I can't help myself. This sounds like a fantastic take on the classic!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Kevin! You need inspiration as well as fuel in the mornings I say :)

Hi GT! Omg, congratulations! I didn’t know and of course Doodsie won’t say anything because she likes to be so mysterious ;) When I get pregnant I have no idea how I will survive without soft-boiled eggs, sushi, coffee, and cigarettes...maybe I’ll find new obsessions :) Take care! :)

Julie said...

I found this post through the link in an article on Foodie View. This is totally my style. Possibly even better than eggs Benedict!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Julie! Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment :) Better than Eggs Benedict? Wow! I'm flattered!!!

Dazy said...

Can I seriously come over for dinner soon? ...... your recipe sounds so yummy.....

ChichaJo said...

Haha! Hi Dazy! Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

Italian green eggs and ham!