Tuesday, March 04, 2008


What did people do before there were cheese graters?

I bought the ingredients for risotto recently, and, given that one ingredient is chicken broth (good for colds) and I think I might actually have sufficient energy to finally make the recipe, I thought tonight might be a good night to try making it. Except I got fancy, and bought my parmesan cheese in a wedge. Note to self: check to see if I actually have all required *implements* for a recipe, when checking for the ingredients.

My downfall is that I used to own a cheap-o cheese grater, which was probably starting to go a bit rusty around the edges in Chapel Hill. Bulky, cheap, and not in the best condition? It didn't come home with me. When did I realize that? *After* I got home from grocery shopping, and actually considered making the recipe. I thought about stopping at the fancy cooking store on my way home, but I was still hoping to make it out to the art club tonight, and so didn't want to take the time. However, by the time I got home, the last nail was in the coffin for that idea. (The chills were what did it, on top of the tiredness.)

But I still think I can manage risotto, especially if that chicken broth will help me feel better. (Fancy-pants organic chicken broth, with the celery hopefully low enough in the ingredients that I won't react to it. I normally go with beef to avoid the celery, but there wasn't any organic beef broth, and the others either had MSG or were deliberately vague about it. I'm not taking the risk.) The question is, what did people do before there were cheese graters? Will chopping get it fine enough that it'll melt in or whatever it's supposed to do? How much less should I use to compensate for the fact that it'll be more dense? (That fancy-pants stuff is *expensive*, and I can't afford it unless I make it last.)



Kate said...

Do you perhaps have a wood rasp? You seem to have a tool box since you put your bookshelves together. Martha Stewart always grates her parm with a wood rasp so if you have one that is what I would suggest. Of course wash it well both before and after! Otherwise just cut the cheese fine until you get either a rasp or a grater. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I can't help about the grater...but we had risotto last night, too! With cheese and capsicum (you call them peppers?) and carrot. Mozzarella cheese. For a side dish, my own invented recipe for mashed potatoes (boil, mash, cook in roux, add a bit of garlic paste and chilli flakes et voila!).
No news from Ram Wools...what do you suppose that means?

Anonymous said...

I would think that cutting it fine would certainly suffice until you get a cheese grater. Hope your risotto turned out yummy, and that your nose isn't too stopped up for you to be able to taste it. :-/

noricum said...

I have a file but not a rasp. I actually want to buy a micro-plane, since I like how fine they get the parmesan. (And also get a regular grater for mozzarella...)

It turned out pretty good, although I got really tired and just wanted to lie down in the middle... but you can't do that with risotto. :P It also ended up rather on the, um, "el dente" side... or perhaps the "el crunchy" side. The recipe didn't say what to do if you ran out of liquid before the rice was tender. I wonder if the really dry air here has anything to do with it?

mrsfife: Mmmmm! Sounds tasty! (Except for the carrot... I don't like cooked carrot.)

The finely chopped parmesan worked fine.