Arborio Rice and Wild Boar ‘nay – olé!

I have a latin girlfriend who has a most terrific name that needs to be said all together, i.e., first, middle, last and married, and then just adding olé!  It truly makes me smile. So when I find something I adore, and the words come together, I am so happy.  It’s the little things in life, right?   For instance – Arborio rice and Wild Boar Chardonnay – olé!

Arborio rice is an italian short grain rice used in basic risotto dishes.  It’s apparently a good source of (good) carbs; remember, not all carbs are bad, in fact, we need them to function, keep our brains working and bodies functioning.  Arborio rice is packed with protein, vitamins A & C and minerals, giving you your daily nutrient dose.  Another fun fact, it helps your digestive system function well.  Lastly, it stimulates the production of enzymes and hormones, protecting the tissues in your body.  And my 6th grader just learned about that last quarter, so I know it’s true 🙂


I also took in a tasting at the Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg last week and learned a lot, in a little bit of time.  Kevin was a terrific resource, very patient with me and my very funny, crumb dropping, equally persistent faux wine connoisseur slash, great girlfriend.  For instance, did you know that the newer the barrel and the less time a grape spends in the new oak, the oakier it gets?  And the oak taste/fragrance comes from all different variations of tree’s.  I mean, that makes total sense – I just had never put two and two together.  Per their website, Wild Boar Chardonnay 2015 holds aromas of white peach, lychee nut, and Golden Delicious apple with hints of citrus and a slight nuttiness; this wine pairs perfectly with roast chicken, salmon with pesto, pasta carbonaro and creamy brie.  What can I say, they had me with all of the above…

Pick your fish – shrimp, salmon, tilapia, mahi-mahi….whatever you like.  Marinate it in a simple, yet effective, olive oil/garlic/soy sauce/lemon mix, and set aside until ready to cook.  When you are ready, bring out a stock pot, add 1 cup veggie broth/1 cup water/splash of wine & lemon slices – bring to a boil – cook for 7-10 minutes.  Turn off…

Arborio is not just any rice.  It’s (obviously) Italian rice, but cooks down to the perfect risotto; you can add just about anything to it, so tonight, I added onion, peas & sun-dried tomatoes and a dab of parmesan.  Just buy a box of generic arborio and follow the directions.  I will say, I purchased mine from the local Harris Teeter, and they called for 6 cups of chicken broth; I hesitated and only used 4; I tend to err on the side of caution with liquid portions, butter, etc. like, I used only 4 tabs (1/2 inch slices) of butter instead of 1/2 a stick.  Then I added in onions, broth, peas, tomatoes, broth and so on – keep stirring it, or it will definitely stick/burn.  This was done in under an hour.  I was so surprised at how easy this was…creamy, not salty, natural flavors – – perfect bed for a piece of fish.

Portion is a key factor in all dishes, so keep this at a minimum; scoop up the risotto, add your fish and enjoy with a side salad of Arugula, Blueberry & Sliced Cherry Tomatoes (I added a lemon wedge, I can’t have enough lemons), drizzle some olive oil and DONE.  ENJOY!


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