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ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Academy Award-Winning Actor and Producer Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Fargo, Olive Kitteridge, Almost Famous) makes asparagus risotto and discusses the creative process fueling her long, badass career.
If you're cooking along while you listen, you'll need the following to make your dish:
Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 big handfuls chanterelle mushrooms (or morels, porcini, or cultivated mushrooms)
Salt
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cups short-grained Italian rice (like carnaroli or arborio)
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 - 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked off stems and chopped
6 cups homemade chicken stock or water (avoid store-bought chicken stock)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Tools:
vegetable peeler
knife
cutting board
stove
big spoon
slotted spoon
ladle
smallish saucepan
skillet
blender
food processor, or mortar and pestle
cheese grater
timer
English
United States
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TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00This is cooking by ear I'm your host Cal Peter now and I'm going to teach you to cook I was the chef at Chez Panisse for twenty two years I write cookbooks and it's my job But cooking is also my way of telling people I care for them
00:00:14I know it isn't like that for everyone Some people hate cooking Some people want to like it but there's something holding them back Something stopping them It might be fear a little trepidation something telling them somehow they can't Okay I'm gonna stop you listeners This is Cristina that
00:00:31producer I'm mostly behind the scenes here but I'm the person that you're talking about I'm more of a snacker than a cooker I don't know if it's fear but cooking is not on the top of my list of things I need to master I don't know if that
00:00:47makes me a terrible cook but I think you were really reluctant cook I think you probably want two Maybe not be that person But you also don't maybe care enough to like really do more to make it so Yeah right I need like a gateway recipe Like a
00:01:07gateway drug for cooking I don't know if I have the discipline to make cooking a daily practice You know it's not like now It's time for your cooking lesson like you know you used to have toe do whatever your dreaded piano lesson or whatever it wass It's more
00:01:21like Hey this is part of our life We're going to eat and in order to eat well we're going to cook And so come into the kitchen Let's cook together We'll talk about you Will talk about me will listen to each other We'll listen to the food sizzling
00:01:33in the pan Maybe we'll have a glass of wine before you know it You know the time goes by and you have a delicious dish in your sitting down eating it I mean many people find the enjoyment around the table but there's enjoyment in the kitchen before the
00:01:44food gets to the table And that's what we're discovering Okay cool And so I'm not completely alone And our listeners they're not going to be alone We'll have special guest cooking with us So cute The clip And I'm gonna show you something else that I love him with
00:01:58That this roasting pan It's called Wagner Where and I fear that it has some bad like letter but it rose a perfect chicken and grate carrots and I'm sixty some years That's Francis McDorman She's today's guest friend is an actor producer and all around badass Her latest film
00:02:21is The Dark Comedy Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri Where she starts is a mom out to get justice for her murder daughter You might know her from her legendary role as pregnant police chief Marge in Fargo for which he won an Academy Award I'd be very surprised if
00:02:38our suspect was from Brainerd Yeah and I'll tell you what from his footprint he looks like a big fella See something down there Chief No I just think I'm gonna fire My personal favorite is when she played the no bullshit tenacious mom and almost famous I love that
00:03:00I've seen that movie like three hundred times with my sons It's unfair that we can't listen to our music because it is about drugs and promiscuous sex Simon and Garfunkel is poetry Yes it's poetry It is the poetry of drugs and promiscuous sex Honey they're on pot When
00:03:16I first met Frances McDormand she was eating dinner in the Cafe Che Ponies upstairs with her husband Joel Coen and I looked over at the table and I thought Oh my Oh my God there's Frances McDormand Joel Coen How can I meet them I have to go over
00:03:29to their table and say just how much I like their work And I kept thinking about how to do I couldn't find a way to do it But luckily there's an open kitchen at Chez Panisse And so when Fran was on her way out she came right over
00:03:41to the counter across from the grill where I was working and she looked at me and she put her fingers up on her head and wiggle them around like there were two antennas And she nodded her head and pointed to her antennas at me and said Pleasure pleasure
00:03:56pleasure And that's when I knew that we we saw something and cooking and eating That was the same we were We were getting the same pleasure out of it Run a park inside but doesn't And now friends invited us into her kitchen We just saw your your dear
00:04:15Oh dear It really belongs to getting in on you and that there's like a nine of them They come through the yard everyday at five for cocktails They kind of munch of the cactus like they're fucking cannon ready That's can't yet There is sir Cocktail hour Come on
00:04:31in Get out of the wet Get out of the way Come on friend is the ultimate home cooked but she's always willing to try something new So cook along with us we'll give you all the directions you need We're just hanging out with us in the kitchen Fram
00:04:50loves her kitchen You have to say I love my pantry so much because it used to be that there's a powder room what they used to be a full sized bathroom next door the shower on For a long time We just put We got a local really great
00:05:05contractor to make shells in the shower and that was the pantry So if I need a pasta or flower I was going in the bathroom and be like where she's going and then I come out like you have the boxes of pasta And so when we did the
00:05:19renovation that was one of the beauties Isn't it gorgeous And I have to say might my favorite things I'm a big man mid century modern fans So I got a lot of teak This's one favor The world's Fair from Seattle nineteen sixty two This is for my personal
00:05:40A T time I put my cup and saucer and my little teapot on it and carry it around to different parts of a cookie or something A biscuit You gotta have a get out of it And then this all you know right This one thie United Nations tourist
00:05:56play from New York has a water color of the building Isn't it gorgeous Love the colors And then this is John's favorite cookie plate This was Ah young woman young artists that we got this in Healdsburg California She gets like old grandma plates with that are all flowery
00:06:14and you know I have retro edges And then she puts different sayings Thiss one is motherfucker which is always fun to put your tea biscuits on Something's revealed underneath the when Fran says That's Joel's favorite plate She's talking about her husband the director Joel Cohen of the Coen
00:06:34brothers We're talking Fargo No country for Old men and O brother where art thou along with everyone's favorite The Big Lebowski Joe's lesser known claim to fame making pies Joel's The Pie Baker and Mr Fryer Unfortunately he will not do it on command so everybody that loves his
00:06:53pies now will say Come for dinner Maybe Joe will make a pies like Now Joel makes a pie when he wants to make a pie Maybe on Thanksgiving we get lucky We get a couple and then I asked for my birth on my birthday I ask for a
00:07:06pie and he can't He can't really deny me a break I'm not asking for diamonds I'm asking for a pop Before we get too deep into cooking in conversation let me tell you all the ingredients and tools you'll need to make today's dish asparagus and chanterelle mushroom risotto
00:07:23The ingredients will need our one bunch of asparagus Two big handfuls of central mushrooms eight tablespoons or one stick of butter salt one tablespoon of olive oil one yellow onion diced two cups of short grained Italian rice are borio or carnaroli three quarters of a cup of dry
00:07:44white wine one cup grated Parmesan and two tablespoons of chopped thyme It's from about two or three or four Sprague's and six cups of chicken stock If you don't have home made chicken stock just use water Don't use the store bought canned or boxed chicken stock's They're just
00:08:02too thick and weird and they're kind of gross so just use homemade chicken stock or water This is one of my only rules You gotta just trust me The tools will need are a stove a knife a big spoon to stir the risotto a slotted spoon a ladle
00:08:22a smallish saucepan a skillet I love using my cast iron but today we're using friends Look who's a Dutch oven Something to mash up the asparagus like a mortar and pestle or a food processor or a blender measuring cups a cheese grater and a timer You can use
00:08:42either your phone or a clock or watch or if you have a kid standing next to you as come to count Remember if you need extra time cutting onions or melting the butter or drinking a little wine just pause us No big deal We'll be ready to keep
00:08:55cooking when you return Okay Back to France kitchen I do not know how my mother and my mother in law did it They both had three kids They both had full time jobs and they put food on the table Well I know how my mother does she do
00:09:11with the Crock Pot And Joe lt's mother did it Jules mother was a horrible cook God bless her She was so great at other things but horrible and but she would put she would literally she boil the rice before like on Sunday night On Sunday she would make
00:09:27five meals and put him in the freezer and Joel said they would go down to the deep freeze and just kind of you know with an ice pick almost and just get a chunk of something and like put it in a pan That's what she would do every
00:09:40night that you stew rice and just a big chunk and you put it in a pan and my mother would put a piece of meat in the crock pot in the morning on low like I told you And then it might take it out Her salad My favorite
00:09:53Think she would take I had of iceberg lettuce She put it on the plate She tread some off Then she put it on the next flight She tread some ice Birkoff And then it would be pile of thousands Uh actually a friend of mine has a really great
00:10:07dinner party scheme and she doesn't want to hear the theme is you bring your mother's the thing that your mother was good at the dish your mother is good at or what you remember your mother and what's great is often people you know bring a carton of benson
00:10:22and hedges and a bottle of gin That's prop That's what Mom did what we're making today We're making risotto and loved the idea of result because look the weather today it's like a storm It's perfect In every season there's some vegetable or some version of risotto that really
00:10:42works And of course right now mushroom is the way to go And Kathleen my wife and I were out in the woods yesterday and we found a bunch of chanterelles which I brought and something that's nice about Really if your central sort of connoisseur you want the mushrooms
00:10:59that air dryer because you could get some kind of ground in the pan And right now all the mushrooms are pretty wet But for risotto it's kind of nice because when you cook them that give off a lot of liquid it tastes like mushrooms That liquid that comes
00:11:12off it's it's coming Were you really bringing like the weather and the forest like into your dish You know it's actually rainwater that's been soaked up by those mushrooms Fantastic You're cooking with rainwater that was stored in a mushroom And also speaking of water they I started There's
00:11:30a pipe over on the mountain that it just come straight out of the mountain And I've started collecting the spring water because once you taste it you can't go back It's like a fine single malt and we got it I start I got this It's an olive oil
00:11:50saying was still olive oil container and I got a couple of them And then every time I go past it I just feel not because it's coffee tastes better We actually toasted it Thanks Give with With spring water we toasted to the mountain gave thanks Water water water
00:12:11Listen to Mama have some water So what do you need to do What do you need from my kitchen The first step I do is I cook a little bit of the vegetables whether they're peas or in this case it'll be asparagus Well kind of Simmer a little
00:12:24of the asparagus in the hot chick in Stockton We already have about a third of the total amount that we're going to use and then we'll cook it till it's tender in the stock We'll set it aside When it cools down Will We're going to make like a
00:12:39little puree of asparagus that will add in at the end And so it'll give a nice color and spread the sort of asparagus easiness through out the experiment spirit veracity What will do first is cook a little bit of these teargas Well grind it up in the Oscar
00:12:58I just want to clarify when I say Oscar I don't mean the Academy Awards statuette Fran one for Fargo We're talking about her vintage blender Sometimes you need a little bit of liquid So if we need a little splashing a little of the stock and then we'll set
00:13:11that aside and then we'll start making the result to itself Well dice the onion will sell today that in butter when it's completely soft and translucent but ideally not really browned We'll add in the rice You turn the heat up a little and you kind of start around
00:13:28kind of toast the rice and then we'll add some white wine and then you start adding additions of stock and or water and you know you kind of add some and you stir and let it bubble when then you add some more and that's most of the cooking
00:13:42It takes about twenty minutes One of the things that will do is and this is an advantage of cooking The that asparagus at the beginning is your kind of time either accurately or inaccurately But you get a sense of how long it takes the asparagus to cook because
00:13:58you're going to add the other asparagus him later to the end You know right before the the anchor to the unclaimed stuff We're going to cook in the rice but that gives you a sense of how long it takes to cook And then the last thing we do
00:14:11is when we've got the asparagus I mean the rice the texture we want like it's still Each crane is still separate and has a little bit of too But it's not starchy at all Then you finish it with some butter and Parmesan cheese Let it sit for a
00:14:25minute to kind of gather itself and that's when you can also open your bottle of wine and get out the plates and then you read it Yeah and we're going to And then we're going with you I'm already hungry Also we didn't talk about the mushrooms I think
00:14:40we should saute the mushrooms and just put him on top and we'll sprinkle the months It'll be like a mushroom this's time And I thought we put a little time in there Delicious May be the first thing to do though is to cut Lets saute the mushrooms and
00:14:54then we'll set them aside And then we'll start on the risotto So if you want to like to start slicing those up let me get out the pan like the like You tend to have a certain amount of organizational obsessiveness And I like the idea of making things
00:15:12with just using one pan All right So when I'm now going to the shot trails central's picked in the woods I always love with everybody Prince mushrooms to me I would say Where'd you get them And there's always that look on their face like you think I'm going
00:15:25to tell you Nobody around here will ever tell you I have one neighbour who took me to one place on our property There weren't any okay cookers at home Fran is cutting the Shan trails into quarter inch slices Since you're cutting things up now's a good time to
00:15:41prepare the asparagus Cut the spears into one inch lengths There's nothing like I read this article when I was in college called the acoustic set of acoustic acoustical that that acoustics actually are a sense kind of like it's a combination of sound and feel and that slicing mushrooms
00:16:04on a cutting board with a sharp knife is a central pleasure And it truly is gorgeous It feels so good It's like the same thing they likened it to walking through Chris believes in the fall of pile of Chris believes in the way that the sound and the
00:16:24way you kick them No you know what you like Obviously you must like cooking because otherwise here get somebody else to be doing the cooking And I was going to ask you What do you like about it And see how it compares to what I like about it
00:16:43But I feel like I can already tell if you're you know if you're paying attention That like the sound and the smell of the way it is when you're picking mushrooms then part of part of what you are getting out of it must be some level of pleasure
00:16:59complete completely I mean I also you know because I'm a professional stir and part of but I also what I have done as consistently I'm fifty nine years old what I have and I've been a professional actor since I was twenty three The other thing that I have
00:17:25practiced as consistently is acting is being a housewife and part of being a house And I love the craft of house with free and part of that is you know food and feeding People love it And when I I found as a younger actor when I was that
00:17:45was not working as an actor Cooking preparing meals was really similar to the process of a theatrical event Because the marketing and the preparation of the dishes is kind of the rehearsal process The making is the is that tech rehearsal where you put everything together and then you
00:18:05present it and then you get thumbs up or thumbs down and I will I've always found that it found dinner parties to be really similar And yes it's the theatre and one thing that is very similar about it is that it's that it is live real time and
00:18:26it's not And then when it's done it's done Yeah right like you could do the play again tomorrow and try and say that line better but it's not You're not doing it over You're doing a new version because you're one day older Yeah it's it But but not
00:18:42unlike not unlike the theater the kitchen There's certain things that you have to know how to repeat Well hopefully and also what's interesting is that it's informed like I know if I'm if I'm not really and this is the problem with me scheduling dinner parties Sometimes if I'm
00:19:00not really into cooking for people it comes right out of my hands comes right out of my skin and straight into the and it makes it back It just turns it And I I always wondered is a professional uh chef How do you keep that from informing You
00:19:17know because that's professional suicide right there If you here if you're in a bad mood you don't feel like cooking for people and you have to go into a kitchen and cook for one hundred fifty people in that night How do you keep from leaking out of your
00:19:29skin I think you probably do similar things that maybe you do when it's show time and you feel grumpy or you have headache or is you you find your little I'm sure you have some kind of tools to do But you know I have recently discovered the actual
00:19:47really value of smile therapy Have you tried it Well no but I used to do hug there actually a gut laughter I read it I read a article once that said if you woke up in the morning before you sit up in your bed you don't have to
00:20:02be laying your But you sit up before you get out of your bed you just practice gut laughter Just like making sure your dire friends And so I said I said to my dear husband has suffered through many experiments and our life Say come on we'll go for
00:20:21a month We're going to try doing got laughter every morning before we added that which is a lot easier for me obviously than it is for someone who's not trained to practices Think it was fun It worked And also hug hug therapy were supposed to Humans need at
00:20:38least eight a day and we certainly dunk You dated that like a few When you have small children you d'oh But as We all know once they become teenagers they don't want to go anywhere near you God forbid touch you So it becomes that that hugs you You
00:20:56know that Your you need for mental hygiene That's a dog's I think Yeah but talks don't hug you So the next thing to do is heat up your nice pants You want to get the Pam really hot And then you're gonna put in oil and then the food
00:21:15you're cooking you want the oil to go You want the food to follow the oil right away so that the oil doesn't get that burnt flavor So like you literally wanted Like if you grabbed those mushrooms bring him over here some oil and then dump him in right
00:21:28away Okay Ready Yeah I don't I I see that out So how much of that you're putting in We by eyeballing it Couple three people Maybe have a call from around a little but don't come here My God Yeah four A perfect civilly What Really Soon it will
00:22:05be stupid Yeah it's getting there So keep your mushrooms cooking until they get soft and start to brown around the edges You want some color on them but you don't really want to fry them This is a good time to taste one And to tell you my number
00:22:21one cooking rule which is taste everything as you go always you need to taste it as you're appealing it as you're cutting it as it's cooking And absolutely need to taste it before you bring it to the table It's the one rule that will actually make you a
00:22:37better cook Okay so by now your mushrooms are on their way and you can turn off the pan and let them finish sizzling on their own When they've stopped tip them out into a bowl and set him aside We're going to use the part they were cooking in
00:22:51for the rest of the risotto and now onto the onions So I was trying to cut it in half Yeah lengthwise Not with wise cut into just not cut it all the way through because then it all falls apart but cut and believing like a quarter inch of
00:23:10the back And then the natural rings of the onion making the dice when you start Yeah place And that's the kind of stuff I taught my boy that was so satisfying And my mother told me that and he gets a lot of pride out of doing it you
00:23:36know Because he makes it makes him feel like a uh professional looking like a pro In addition to the rule of tasting everything I don't usually taste onions when I'm cutting them Very Pete is that you need to B You need Teo to bring yourself to bear in
00:23:56the kitchen And that includes you know your sense of smell and taste of course But sound cooking by sound right So that's like you can turn your back on them on the pan because you know when you hear it doing that all of a sudden the sizzle changes
00:24:13Yeah that's when you need to turn around and check on it So that's a good idea not to be wearing two o'Clock or Jay Z when you're doing here Yeah what you're doing You're fine But even then I think you would eventually train yourself toe here through to
00:24:31puck into through that that they should actually do They should They should a sample mushrooms sartain and put it on a Yeah yeah It's cooking by here cooking by here Well it's essential experience You've got to use everything so the onions diced And why don't we are going
00:24:54to cook a little of the asparagus A headbutt The onion takes a while so let's get the onion started And then we'll come back and do that So for the for the onion you left the ground police That's Achilles from the mushroom oil in there which is perfect
00:25:08cause then when we put that onions and it's all going to be living together and you're doing this with butter not oil I'm going to use butter and oil So let's put in like maybe a couple of chunks of butter like two tablespoons or so Yeah like two
00:25:24fat slices and we're going to put in a couple of tablespoons of oil You can turn that on Hi or medium Hi We're putting the butter on the oil back in the Dutch oven where we cook the mushrooms But if you weren't cooking the mushrooms you would you
00:25:41you would just put your butter and oil This would be the start of the recipe Sort of put the butter and oil into the pan or pot that you're going to cook the risotto let the butter melt and then the diced onions and we're going to add a
00:25:55little salt too So yeah just dumping the unions And this is where we start to get like one of my favorite smells ever which is cook and you know onions cooking right in butter Truthfully I love it so many times people come over to my house and they
00:26:17come in and they're just What is that smell It's so good in it That's all it is is on you You know a little bit of salt in there to start and that seems like it's a good temperature They're just kind of gently weeping wailing bubbling a little
00:26:36bit Yeah the onions It takes about fifteen minutes Really firm to get right You Khun You know people tend to sort of Yeah you wanted to be translucent soft but you don't really want them brown But if they get a little bit brown it's okay Especially since we're
00:26:53we already have the kind of brown caramel e mushroom thing going on In this case you diced your onion and it's in the pan with oil and a few chunks of butter on medium He sizzling away smells really good You give it a stir periodically to make sure
00:27:08that it doesn't burn a little colors Okay but you don't really want them to get brown While the onions are cooking it's a good time to make the asparagus puree So first pour a couple of cups of chicken stock in a small pot and let it come to
00:27:21a boil We're going to drop our asparagus in there and let it cook for a minute When your stock is boiling go ahead and drop in the chunks of asparagus and let him simmer in there for a couple of minutes You need to taste one to see when
00:27:33it's done and don't forget to check on the onions and give them a little stir from time to time While the asparagus cooks I'd like to talk about a crucial ingredient in all cooking and that's restrained I use it as a chef and Fran used it when she
00:27:46played all of in her Emmy award winning HBO Siri's All of Kittredge Rachel Coulson has depression Do you know what that is No really You should runs in our family No it doesn't And really that's what you think was going on with my father That was a different
00:28:06thing wasn't he Never had it to know I'm not the same woman She had her moods She was clinical Henry What's depression This bad wiring makes your nerves raw Is that why you're so mean all the time Absolutely Your mother is not depressed Yes I am happy to
00:28:23have it because it's being smart I was watching all of Kittredge Yeah really Like I I love it too I love it I don't think I'll have enjoyed cooking She cooks a lot She cooks a lot because most housewives do did did did in her day and age
00:28:41and also where she was from A small town It's not like you can get taken Doesn't seem to be taking pleasure No I think she takes pleasure She takes pleasure in clean in scrubbing things That's what I love One of the things I loved so much about the
00:28:55soundscape Because we Jane Anderson who adapted the novel to a screenplay One of the things we talked a lot about was the soundscape of all his life And this sound Here I have to get something that'll approximate it ready hear that It's the scraper The is the wire
00:29:20scrapers as little wire scrapers on pots and pans and when she gets really upset she there's that scene where she's in a refrigerator just scraping at scraping which splits good Yeah so much like we did most We filmed most of the scenes in the kitchen the dining table
00:29:38scenes with the young son We did those kind of sequentially overtime so we spent a lot We spent a lot of time That kitchen I have to say that house that was Kittredge is house When I first saw it I walked It's a beautiful old nineteen twenties kind
00:29:55of uh camp house and it's been owned by the same family for years So it's just it's not modernized in any way I walked in the kitchen and I just started sobbing I stood in the way that sink looking out at that view Which is this you know
00:30:12coastal inlets And it was just her It was her kitchen and I knew so much of my work was done because a person like olives it's her domain It's where she lives so so much And then when we started l mean I talked with Lisa children ankle the
00:30:30director a lot about letting letting the audience have my back at the sink because I may be It's a memory of my mother or that you you If you're sitting at the table and your moms at gets up from the table early and is over the sink there's
00:30:51a reason that she needs to go with SAKE stuff still going on She's not just washing the dishes I was sobbing because because of the beautiful the because it was so evocative of it's kind of when you because it was evocative of the not only the woman that
00:31:09I had gotten to know in the novel but something about me I love a window I have to have a window near where wash dishes because I love to wash dishes And a person who spends a lot of time in the kitchen spends a lot of time with
00:31:30the sink and so I've always had Of you It's important course is right It's so meditative So you spend a great deal of your day there Okay So when the asparagus is tender taste it to make sure use a slotted spoon to fish it out Put the asparagus
00:31:50in a splash or two of chicken stock in the blender at a little pinch of salt and then go ahead and blend it up Now you have the asparagus puree that will stern to the risotto Later while Iranians continue to cook open your wine It's the first liquid
00:32:06that will add to the risotto So the onions are sizzling So why don't you just put in a handful like six little handfuls Arrest little handfuls Look I've got a pretty large hand for a woman because out seven others No Four Sorry Yep That was Yeah So I
00:32:42got my sturgeon around You must want to stir it for about a minute Get out a little bit of salt Good sham like salt Go look at those colors Uh on the rice changes the way it looks A little bit right I mean it's kind of shiny a
00:33:06glossy with the oil It becomes a little transparent huh Right No You want good to have the stock right next to your Yeah you don't have to keep it on longer And so how much When we you said you put the white wine And first how much About
00:33:28three quarters of a cup Three course of action measure Yes I got the bottle How far down would it be if I poured in three So we're trying work The were trying to toast the rice just a little bit You're not trying to get it Color Coast picking
00:33:51people I've been about a minute You could of the wine now and it'll really beautiful Yes must all roads The great advance the dream that comes off this This is really good In there Opens up the pores So you had three quarters of a cup of white wine
00:34:25Put the heat up too high Stir it from time to time Pretty soon the liquid will be absorbed or evaporated and when it does when it starts to get dry that's when you start eating hot chicken stock so you can add Have a couple little fools I'd say
00:34:47like cup and a half maybe or to start with stir things around just to make sure it's not sticking You wanted to be bubbling Yes As the liquid evaporates keep adding a couple ladles of chicken stock And you know when you add the liquid it can be okay
00:35:08That's almost covering the rice Yes so at this point it should be like kind of swampy level liquid like some of the land is showing through but not all of it And it's a really bubbling swamp Or it looks like you know on the beach when the wave
00:35:26goes out and there's all those little bubbles like from clams or something that are under the sand It looks like that but all but in fast motion Oh my God it smells delicious but it's when you stir it You know you can kind of see the bottom of
00:35:41the pan but then the liquid quickly sort of Russia's back in So it's it's that level of I would say it's like it's the consistency of pretty loose oatmeal We're close to finishing this lovely pot of risotto You're doing great Keep stirring and ladling stock into the risotto
00:36:02as the stock gets absorbed at another ladle you'll get into a rhythm You know one of the things that I love especially about off Kittredge in one of the things that attracts me to certain restaurants and to certain art and film is a measure of restraint that I
00:36:20think is so often absent And a lot of the especially that Mohr sort of high end restaurants They really aren't practicing any kind of restraint It's all piled on Every dish has the truffle in the ground Um okay I tell you something I hate dripping when they trip
00:36:40right That places me on the plate like the little or the schmear You think Hey this year but the worst his phone's gotta logically gross foam It's like toothpaste itches And I hate hate brushing my teeth I brushed my teeth with baking soda Dr Baking soda because I
00:36:59hate the foaming action They hate it So the minute I see foam on a plate I gag I just gagged and I can't uh so yeah it looks very much like somebody spit on your plate Yeah so this idea of you know trying to make it abstract art
00:37:14is really lost on me And now the colors Where would I was I just date in a restaurant that's connected to a museum over the holidays and the food was very tasty and in fact did something about the compilation of the plate was like seen the abstract art
00:37:32in the museum next door So it wasn't It didn't piss me off a CZ Muchas it usually does But I tell you the minute I see a drip drip schmear you lost me until with you a little bit of restraint It compels you as an eater or as
00:37:48a viewer especially two You have to engage It makes you so like you know all of turns around and scrubs that pan you get it It's all there in the scrubbing the pan or like the food that you're talking about I was watching carefully to see what the
00:38:05food wass You can't really see the food but I knew what it was anyway You know it's their food was a beautiful beautiful you know it was the connective tissue of the whole story Meanwhile at this point in the conversation Fran reveals something to me I didn't know
00:38:21about her and her family Neither she nor Joel are that religious but they decided to raise their son Pedro Pagan Pitch was about five started you know playing around with this and Joel You know I told Youl I'm gonna raise and pagan Angel's Fine great And then as
00:38:41half a joke half helping but three quarters joke He passed this lesbian bookstore in the in Greenwich Village and they had a whole group of pagan books and the wind in the windows He brought me home like four books on pagan Pig and parenting One of them was
00:38:56called Paige and Parenting I was like Ha ha Funny I'm going to use it I'm using it So some friends of ours really good friends came over that night It was the winter solstice and we Steve of the couple makes a great potato gratin So we have potato
00:39:15gratin frozen peas and single malt whisky And I made round sugar cookies that we put white sugar on some from moons and yellow another for sons So sun and moon cookies They're still like Pedro's still says Are you making the cinnamon cookies like he goes I'm not a
00:39:30pagan You are a pagan I'm not taking it So what do you got I'm just I'm not pagan but every years like you make it Aren't you making the sun moon cookies Say so Cookies And then every now and then he'll you know ask about the au gratin
00:39:46But that became the feast was potato au gratin peas and single malt whisky and the cinnamon cookies And then the ritual was going up on the roof of the building and howling at the moon perhaps baring your breasts but only if it was a full moon The bearing
00:40:03of the breast in that last past The preteen years with the sun kept Khun do that anymore so But we did have a truck Yeah but yeah basically it's about finding nature especially in the huge A city like New York is like Find the moon and howl at
00:40:19it That's enough of that So that's our connection We're not religious at my house either but just you are because anybody that cares about I mean it is a perhaps out of religion But there's a cultish element too Well well well well I think it gets to that
00:40:37What you're saying before about how just the way so many of the organized religions come out of those pre religious like pig and rituals were really there Maybe just like ways of life That time ritual Exactly Because we were part of a larger organic world We considered ourselves
00:40:53apart of the organic world rather than the masters of the organic world One of the most were not a master of anything We're not the masters of anything This is true but we are close to conquering risotto Now's a good time to add in the rest of your
00:41:07cut asparagus It's also a good time too great About half a cup of the Parmesan cheese will add that in towards the end And since the end is near this is a good time to talk about what you do with leftover risotto which is really my favorite thing
00:41:21about risotto You make it into our in chini or you make it into these little patty's called Reese Oil salt though just get your hands a little bit wet and scoop up handfuls of the cold risotto and make them into little patty's like a little burger kind of
00:41:36almost and then got a skill or kind of hot out some oil Put the patties in there Try not to move around too much Don't try and turn them too soon When you can tell they're getting little browned on the sides you slip a spatula in there and
00:41:50kind of loosen them up from the pan and then turn him over Brown the other side and you have these little in Italian They call it Reese Oil Salt though which means like jumping rice because it kind of pops so little bit You have to kind of stand
00:42:03back because it does kind of spit when you're cooking like a resource Lt was a little risotto Hamburger That's what Kristina Thanks That's how she conversion allies it That's fine motivated You could definitely make that Okay Keep cooking the rice And as he finished Fran has some wisdom
00:42:29for cooks at all levels It'll carry you through the homestretch It's like my husband always says It's not the food It's company When I start getting anxious about things turning out right there's always something good to eat even if it's some nuts And if you're really happy to
00:42:47be together then part of it the experiences done But it also has to be sensual It's about staying connected to the sensual life And I think that's what I mean about being able to be influential Loza as an elder that there's a vast variety of life that we
00:43:06get tohave in a very short span of time So to make it any one thing is a real loss So if you think so much of our culture is about not ageing past forty people think the way they dress the way they conduct their lives and so that
00:43:25that that takes way like forty years of experience If you don't grow up past forty forty five and you live to your eighty five how boring is that It's also getting to be being being allowed to be a role you know because that's another thing about about respect
00:43:46of aging and elders is like if you're looking if people are looking for us that's why we have to make sure we look like we're older So they confined you It's like I I talk Teo Michael Pollan about this Another other friends saying You know if you don't
00:44:02if from the back you look like you're seventeen and in an emergency it's kind of like we all kind of know what to look for in a fire extinguisher If there's a fire you know it's a little squat red thing with a handle on the top line actually
00:44:17happens to be white because it's prettier But you kind of know in an emergency what looks like So if you are in a psychic emotional psychological cultural emergency and you need to find somebody that might know something about it what do you look for NASA Me That looks
00:44:33like your age or seventeen You're gonna look for somebody with white hair wrinkles moving slower You over there You might come here Maybe You know thie answer to this because I don't So it's you know way have toe Not only have have a knowledge that they're looking for
00:44:53when they asked but also beat recognizable somebody who might have experience it could not And then that's the real No Yeah no No We raised a privileged child in many many ways and yet I felt it was important to give him survival tools and the two best things
00:45:45I could offer him was manners And a few recipes because he if he's if he's polite when he's invited to dinner or sleeping over at a friend's house then those people will invite it back so it will never go hungry or without a place to sleep And so
00:46:04manners are a real survival tool from my point of view And if you know how to clean up after you know if you know howto pitching in the kitchen and actually make something or wash dishes without breaking them you're you're in You're in like Flynn There's the idea
00:46:22of like being yourself and being really authentically yourself But then there's also at some point maybe you realize that who yourself is has gotten boring and you need to do something that's not like yourself Yeah I think to shake shaking it up for me has been the producing
00:46:44and I think cookbooks must be like that It's kind of like for me producing made me realize that I knew something about how things were made that he actually had accumulated a body of knowledge from being an actor and from watching Joel direct and produce that I knew
00:47:01more about it than I most actors did and I could apply them in a different way with the backup pal Slippery because the skills I have is a housewife have really help me with producing about putting together a really good dinner party It's like taking back the term
00:47:23house Yes and that's part of my that's part of my politics are my feminist politics I'm not interested in No Why would I ever deny my skills as a as a homemaker So but what about what I want Teo What I want I see I feel like what
00:47:45I could do for women whose choice has been Teo or meant for anybody's choice who has been to raise the kids and provide and be the caretaker of the family which is the one that's usually making the domestic decisions about what they eat or where they go to
00:48:02school or when the baby sitter comes Or you know when new shoes have to be bought Whatever If it does fall to one person in a family then there has to be a riel pride of professional pride in that because it's a profession I think we should taste
00:48:21the asparagus Renew I'm just dead I like up this boon around for Kurt to something that tasted I just took one in it there I think it's perfect Okay then it's perfect And let's see the consistency seems right Like it's still it's still you know we could just
00:48:42put the mixture of Central I think they'll be prettier That's plopped on top I mean they'll be pretty I had a little time a little level time Look how beautiful Here Put in your own script Would have forgotten about that And what about the cheese The cheese and
00:49:02the cheese Goes in way decided Not anybody Okay this puree is gonna change it up completely Well just say what we the shot to the risotto Asparagus mixture The pureed asparagus which was pureed in the a big too tablespoons of butter Yes A cup of grated Parmesan Reggiano
00:49:35Oh it's beautiful It looks like it looks like a little forest floor You know what I I would I would just to decorate the plate I would put it a branch of time on the top Because then exciting So what I think you should do is taste it
00:49:53one more time for salt Okay dokey As so good Okay you know what It doesn't even more so because of the butter just kicked in and the apartment Put the lid on it for a minute Way to go Beautiful Beautiful Carry the one and give it one last
00:50:15Good stir on then Yeah Oh and we're going to eat it in the drab where it's gonna be beautiful in the drab that so the drab wears this kind of putty brown Look with that That looks like is a bowl of forest right tasty risotto and might need
00:50:40a couple more minutes But it could be perfect Maybe it is perfect Taste it and see if each grain of rice still has a little tiny bit of a bite to it Not starchy but just a little texture There's a nice glistening sauce all around the grains Then
00:50:55turn your burner off And with that you have made risotto Congratulations You made risotto from scratch You made risotto And for listeners who weren't cooking along with us you technically hung out with Frances McDormand in her kitchen How cool is that Cheers Absolutely Fantastic That's absolutely thanks This's
00:51:24been cooking by year Our audio engineer is William Sammons Executive producers are Joaquin Alvarado And can Ikeda Producer Is my friend Christine Alluring I'm your host Tell Peter now I think everyone has a gateway dish and we're on a quest to find yours No Hungry

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