Porcini risotto time!

Porcini risotto time! Cue a very happy wife ;)
Porcini risotto time! Cue a very happy wife 😉

Porcini risotto is actually not hard at all to make, and gives a fairly sophisticated taste for a relative minimum of effort. In short, it’s the lazy but sophisticated guy’s ideal date night meal. My wife loves it, and it really does not take long to make. What’s best, leftovers can be used the next day, either on their own (they still taste great) or to make arancini.

Easy peasy


  • A clove of garlic
  • 2 cup of cream
  • 30g butter
  • Olive oil, preferably in spray form
  • 2 bags of rice – avoid rice that gets sticky, you want a high-amylopectin, low-amylose medium grain like Arborio
  • A dash of white wine
  • Alto Adige Speck or cubetti di pancetta
  • Porcini, as much as you can lay your hands on
  • Chicken breast filet, pre-cooked
  • A small jar of chicken stock (250ml)
  • Finely grated Mozzarella
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oregano

  1. Prepare by soaking the porcini in a bowl filled with a pint of hot (but not boiling) water. Leave to soak for approx. 30-45 minutes. The liquid should have a brown texture resembling well-cooked tea and a rich, nutty flavour. Separate the liquid but do not throw it away.
  2. Finely chop the porcini.
  3. Heat up the butter in a wok or large non-stick pan together with the garlic and the Alto Adige Speck/pancetta. Add a dash of salt.
  4. On a low fire, add the porcini and cover. Leave to simmer for a minute or two, no longer. Make sure you do not burn the porcini. That would be bad.
  5. In the meantime, chop the chicken breast in small square pieces, with about half an inch edges.
  6. Add the chicken to the porcini.
  7. After adding a teaspoonful of extra virgin olive oil or 2-3 sprays from an olive oil atomiser, add the rice. Immediately thereafter add the chicken stock, half of the cream and approximately a third of the liquid from the porcini. Generously sprinkle black pepper over the wok. Add salt to taste.
  8. Leave it to reduce for a bit. Add the rest of the cream and another third of the porcini liquid when most of the first batch of fluids have cooked off. Add a dash of white wine.
  9. When the mixture is starting to reduce, add the rest of the liquid. Heat until the mixture reduces, but make sure the rice does not burn. Add the grated cheese towards the end and stir vigorously.
  10. Serve in bowls with the rest of the white wine. Buon appetito!


Raising elephants is so utterly boring.

If you’re a Linux nerd, you should know what the post title means.1 Every couple of years, it’s time to start anew and eschew the utter boredom of importing posts, going through shortcodes that no longer exist, fixing tags… there are more important things in life than that.

This time, it’s not just a reboot – it’s hopefully also a change of directions. For years, I have tried to keep things separate, to write about what’s on my mind and what’s on my heart in separate fora, with each coming at the expense of the other. The truth is, the two are not that separate. As such, in this incarnation, the blog will feature things that you might not be used to. If you have read my more personal blogs, you will be struck by the occasional post about some esoteric aspects of a little known technical programming language. And if you’re a reader of my technical posts, you might find some raw honesty by the man behind the numbers.

As such, this is also an experiment. Does my technical writing improve if I am liberated of the constraints of subject|>forum? Do my personal insights benefit from accountability to the professional self (owing to society’s views on what we’re doing for a living, there’s a limit to how dumb you’re allowed to get when talking about something entirely different if you also talk about maths, statistics and software development, as if knowledge of any of these areas endowed you with some degree of universal smarts – a matter squarely contradicted by some spectacular doozies uttered by otherwise respectable scientists when it comes to issues of society)? I’m quite keen to find out.

As a precaution, I am categorising work and life posts separately, for readers whose sensitivities preclude them from discussions of faith and society on one hand or introspection in functional programming languages on the other. I’m hoping this will allow those with exclusive interests in one or the other to get just what they need and no more – although even to them I would say that sometimes, risking the whole man is worth it.

References   [ + ]

1.For the sane: it’s a mnemonic for REISUB, the sequence of buttons to mash together with Alt and SysRq (does anybody remember that key?) to restart a completely locked up Linux box that refuses to listen to reason.