Risotto, the morning after

So, the guests have gone. Or not. The sun has come up. The dishes are piled high, this place must get straightened up and putting last night’s dirty napkins in the laundry means an upwards toss. Everyone is dopey and hungry. Coffee’s brewing and even that took energy. I do not feel like making a full-on breakfast for everyone. I don’t think people realize what a lot of work the whole bacon-and-eggs-potatoes-and-toast-plus-something-fresh meal really is. The trick is getting it all to the table hot.

I used to work at a café where the kitchen was like yours or mine – probably more like mine – very basic, four electric burners, two slots in the toaster, one coffee maker. It was also arguably the home of the most popular breakfasts in town. A university town. With lots of young families. The place had probably thirty seats in the winter and eighty come summer, and as those seats filled up with the bleary-eyed and starving the two people on shift started sweating. Sometimes people waited a long, long time for their omelets and brown. But everyone was basically happy as long as we could get a handle on two basic things: get the coffee and oj flowing, and above all else, feed the kids first.

But this morning doesn’t have to be hectic because the coffee is ready, Ivy is eating berries with Papa and we, you and I, made a lot of risotto last night. You might have wondered why I gave you directions for eight to ten servings. This beautiful morning is why.

Press the cold, left-over risotto into the bottom of a dry non-stick fry-pan. Put it on the burner over medium heat and forget about it.

This risotto pancake will take the place of both the potatoes and the bacon of a traditional diner breakfast, so now all there is to do is make your simplest scrambled eggs (mine go slowly with sweet, unsalted butter and nothing else) and put someone on toast detail.

Oh ya, just one more thing:
When the whole risotto pancake will slide in the pan with a firm shake, it is time to flip it. Just check it after about ten minutes and if it wont budge, give it some more time. Now, gather your nerve and your upper arm strength, take a wide stance and a deep breath, make sure everyone’s watching and FLIP!


risotto latke
flip or fail spectacularly

Gather your peeps, cut up an orange and break-fast!


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