Snow, cold, and risotto balls
Friday we got our first real snow fall of this winter - the first one that required actually plowing the lane in case we needed out. It took Kevin about 2 1/2 hours to plow our mile long lane, the driveway, and also part of the side road. It actually required me shoveling my barn doors out and the gates - but that was mostly because of drifts. If Torn Ear had waited to drop his antlers one more day - we would never have found them, not until spring.
Yesterday the dogs helped me pick out what recipe we'd try for IHCC's this week... the theme is all about rice, so I was pretty sure a risotto would be in order.
The dogs were pretty interested in Torn Ear's antlers, they had to have a good sniff to satisfy their curiosity.
Yesterday, Leo the eight point showed up in the afternoon with both his antlers, and by about 4 PM I noticed him eating a tree outside our bedroom - with only one antler. I knew right away he must have shed it close by since we just saw him with both, so Douglas and I went out and had a look around the tree he was eating, but no luck. It was -15 C so both of us decided it was way too cold to bother looking at that moment and we headed back inside. On my way up to the barn at 5 PM - I almost ran over the antler - it was lying in the middle of the road, by our camper, on the way to the barn.
He's still holding the other one, last time we saw him. We haven't seen him yet today to see if he shed it overnight. Kevin tagged his antler last night with his name and the year, which we do with all the antlers.
This is what it looked like Friday morning:
And now it looks like this - blue skies, sunshine. It's beautiful. But it's also really, really cold!
A good time to stay inside and cook. For IHCC's we made fried risotto balls - which were really messy, but also fun to make, and quite tasty. I made tomato risotto also from Tessa's Apples for Jam cookbook - but you can use any leftover risotto.
Fried risotto balls
from Apples for Jam, Tessa Kiros
About 3 cups cold risotto
4 tbs grated Parmesan cheese (I used Romano)
1/2 cup small cubes fresh mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges to serve
Mix the risotto and Parmesan together in a bowl. Lightly beat an egg and mix it into the risotto, stopping when the risotto is damp but still firm enough to be shaped. Moisten your hands with a little water, take a heaping tablespoon of the mixture, and roll it into a ball. Make a tunnel into the center with your finger and push a mozzarella cube into it. Squeeze the ball to close the opening and seal in the mozzarella. Do this with the rest of the mixture.
Lightly beat the other egg in a flat bowl. Put the bread crumbs on a plate. Roll the balls in the egg and then the bread crumbs and put on a cookie sheet or large plate. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Pour about 1 inch of olive oil into a frying pan and heat until hot but not smoking. Fry the balls in batches, gently moving them around in the oil and turning often so they brown evenly. Each batch will take about 2 minutes, then you can lift them onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
The best part about these risotto balls is the gooey mozzarella in the middle. They are worth the mess and effort and I can't think of a better way to use up leftover risotto than making these tasty little treats.
Today we are keeping the fire roaring and keeping warm. It's supposed to warm up in a couple of days and as soon as it does, we have to head out and split some more firewood to add to the box. But for now, we'll just stay by the fire and stay warm.