Trial and Error in Food Photography…and Pistachio Parmesan Risotto
September 7, 2011 • Side Dishes
I have a project that’s keeping me very busy that I haven’t mentioned yet here – a cookbook – and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve contracted with a publisher to produce a gorgeous full color cookbook that will feature recipes from the finest chefs and destinations all around Colorado, and I’m tickled about the project. I’m still in the phase of gathering recipes, but hope to begin testing (the real fun for me) in a few weeks.I’ve also been given the opportunity to be considered to photograph the food as well, and will be working up three of the dishes with a full portfolio of photos very soon. So today, in an effort to get ready, I was messing around with various backdrops and textures to determine things I like and things that just don’t work.For me, it was a toss up between the first photo with the dark background and this one with the dark foreground. I also threw away a good 15 other stylings that just plain stunk. That’s the trial and error part – you have to imagine the food photo in your head when you set it up, but then you have to evaluate if what you imagined really works or not. This was perhaps the most bland subject to practice with – pistachio risotto – but it’s anything but bland tasting. It’s perfect served alongside a steak, with fish, or just about anything else. So good, and really, so easy.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, mincd
- 1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 8-12 cups chicken stock, warmed
- ½ cup roughly chopped pistachios
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- half and half, if desired
- Heat oil in a stockpot over medium high heat and add shallot and rice; cook, stirring constantly, for about minutes, then deglaze with white wine and stir until absorbed. Continue by adding chicken stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly to release the starch from the rice, until the rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes or so. Stir in the pistachios and Parmesan, and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you desire a creamier rice, add a little half and half as desired, then serve immediately.
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