American, Baking Recipes, Italian, Savory, Uncategorized

The Risotto Fiasco

This is the story of how I messed up, improvised, and succeeded at making risotto.

Okay, first of all, this is why I bake. I love cooking and I love how I can be experimental and try new things and make it up as I go, but sometimes it bites me in the ass.

In this case, it’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’m about to go into the craziest time ever with a triple bill where I’m dancing all three pieces first cast (if you’re new to the blog, I’m a professional ballet dancer…yeah hi) so I wanted to make something really special. I’m single, I have the weekend to myself to rest and recoup so I wanna do a little “treat yo-self”.

When I first thought of what I wanted to make I immediately thought of my mom’s risotto. Creamy and perfectly cooked- my mom is an amazing cook, the best actually. I figured I could totally do this and boy was I wrong.

I called my mom roughly seven times- SEVEN- about how to make it, what kind of rice to get, why is there only organic shit, what kind of wine do I use, etc, etc.

So in the end, I had decided I wasn’t going to make this. I just was too in over my head. And then I found myself in the food store, wandering the rice aisle, and I grab a box that says “Risotto”. I call my mom and try to figure out what kind of wine to get and mention that the box says to add water. My mom said to me, “what did you get, I use chicken broth and it’s a long process. It takes time to make risotto.”

I BOUGHT THE WRONG STUFF. I am a Cancer zodiac sign too so you know I started getting upset and mad at myself. I spent all this money to make a dish that I don’t know how to make and had bought the wrong ingredients. I even had a freak out about having the wrong pot to make this risotto.

I was stuck- but this Critiquing Carnivore rallied herself together. I am my mother’s daughter and I can figure this out as I go and…improvise! *cue jazz hands*

Firstly, I bought Lundberg family farms organic arborio risotto- basically instant risotto instead of plain arborio rice. The instructions on the side say to use 2.5 cups of water, but instead I used 2 cups of water and half a cup of white wine. My mom said to use Sauvignon Blanc, naturally I had already gotten Pinot Grigio (at least I’m sticking to character with getting the WRONG INGREDIENTS). I also added a little lemon juice to add some acidity to it. With classic risotto instead of water you usually slowly ladle in chicken broth a little at a time, letting the rice absorb the liquid. My mom adds in the white wine and lemon juice for taste.*

In the end I added some chopped onions I had quickly sautéed as well, just to add some texture (and I love onions).

So moral of the story is mom’s know best and the risotto fiasco ended up working out. The boxed stuff came out okay (definitely not the same as my mom’s) and once I stirred in extra Parmesan cheese and top it off with parsley, I still felt like a Top Chef Queen.

*the risotto stayed pretty soupy up until the 15 minute mark- if you go the boxed risotto route DO NOT WORRY. The rice will absorb all the liquid in the end and if not just remove the pot from heat. If you cook it too much and the risotto looks dry, I would recommend adding more water…or wine 😉

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY INSTAGRAM: @CRITIQUINGCARNIVORE

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Beef, Fort Worth, Mexican, Seafood, Tacos, Uncategorized

Bartaco- Fort Worth, TX

Y’ALL. I’M SORRY.

I know it’s been over two months since I’ve posted an actual blog, but I’ve been eating lots of delicious foods this summer that have been documented on the ‘Gram (@critiquingcarnivore) Nothing has been really blog worthy…so lame and a poor excuse, but that’s what it is. Anyway, I’m back and back in the state of Texas and how else was I going to spend my first night in the heat than spend money I don’t have and eat some great tacos! One of the newest additions is Bartaco.

Across from HG Sply, along the Trinity in Westbend is Bartaco, the white building catching your eye walking by the river. You walk inside and it has a Mexican beach look, wicker notes and white plank walls. The hostess was inviting and accommodating while we waited for a table, although the front is pretty tiny and not great for several parties to be waiting for a table. However, the bar is located directly to your left as you walk in, inviting you to pull up a chair and have one of their amazing cocktails while waiting.

We were sat down and our waitress was cute and asked if we had been before. Two out of four of us had not, but she didn’t care to explain the system of how things work thoroughly. She explained some how to order, but some things she wasn’t clear about. I understand, half of us did know, but regardless an explanation of the different kind of service offered is always welcome for newcomers. With that said, she did explain that you order almost the way you would sushi. You mark on a personal piece of paper what you’d like to order with a pencil, marking the item and quantity. Upon completion, I later figured out, you place a card to flag your server (you do this almost every time you want their attention). They go through everyone’s order to confirm and you’re done! It’s a different way for ordering tacos, but for the kitchen it may be easier to help fire food.

If you don’t know this about me then here you go: before going somewhere new I always check them out on instagram beforehand. One thing I learned from instagram is that the drinks are incredible, fun combinations and well made. One drink that has had some recognition is called Smoke on the Water. With mezcal, watermelon, lemon, and mint this drink is super refreshing and not sweet! For a hot day it’s perfect and overall the prices were not astronomical. Also, they make for cute pictures…look how pretty!

A couple of things pertaining to the tacos. These guys are small, only four inch tortillas. I recommend at least three, maybe four plus. They also aren’t full of lettuce or tomato, it’s loaded with your main ingredient and topped with herbs and some extra flavor enhancers. Another tip…keep track of who got what. They brought the tacos out at once and some orders were put on the same trays. Make sure everyone got the right amount and right options. Then, divide and conquer.

Guys, look at me eating seafood in Texas! Yes, I just saw the cod and couldn’t say no. It was a nice piece of fish with a good fry to it, but I would’ve loved some more cilantro or something with it. Definitely recommend adding some pepper sauce (there are three different kinds on the table, jalapeño and habanero are two options) to add some flavor. I would’ve added some pepper for seasoning as well. Prepared well, just needed some kick.

Next up, pork carnitas! A taco staple, carnitas are slow cooked pork, shredded to delicious perfection. These carnitas were delicious with some more condiments and flavors coming together than the fish. The tangy mojo sauce added some nice elements, this was a favorite of both instagram and myself.

Lastly, the fan favorite of all is the chicken pastor: achiote marinated chicken with grilled pineapple this is definitely the most flavorful of the three tacos. The chicken was grilled and marinated wonderfully, the pineapple adding that acidic tang to balance the taco. By far this was the best taco, I was sad I only got one.

Overall Bartaco is a great new spot for tacos in Fort Worth. With killer cocktails and an array of taco options (duck, redfish, pork belly, oh my!) this will soon be THE stop along the Trinity. All the bikers and runners will flock here to recoup, taking a breather and being sure to stay hydrated! 🍹

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