• Wed
    Oct 16
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Oct 18
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

LIVE Show-Hy-Vee Club Room-7:00 pm, Wednesday, October 16

The live show will feel a bGisella on Great Tasteit empty this week and in succeeding weeks because of the passing Sunday of Jerry Deprey.  Every week, with rare exceptions, Jerry was in the front row, usually with his son Jason.  He always met me with a smile and handshake before the show, and expressed how much he enjoyed the experience (and food) after each program concluded.  Thank you, Jerry, for hanging out with us.  I hope your Red Sox make it to the World Series. 

The amazing Gisella Isidori returns to the Club Room this week.  As always, she brings with her the collective knowledge of Italian culture and cuisine, pouring it out during every encounter in a never-ending flow in exchanges always full of surprises. 

I write this blog post pleasantly full after making a dish tonight-riso sconcho (dialect)- she recalled from her childhood  in Valtellina, about as far north as you can go in the Lombardia region of Italy before crossing into Switzerland. 

"My grandmother used to make this.  Maybe it's been 20 years or more since I've thought about it," mused Gisella.
The risotto (cooked rice) is a good example of cucina povera or the everyday type of rustic food with generally rural roots. Following Gisella's very simple instructions, I cut into small pieces four peeled potatoes and a head of cabbage.  To a pot of boiling salted water I added the vegetables plus two cups of carnaroli rice and cooked it until the rice was al dente, about 16 minutes (taste).  Prior to putting on the veggies and rice, I diced three medium onions and cooked them very slowly in butter and lots of fresh sage with some pepperoncini flakes until the onions were lightly caramelized.  Also, after all the moisture was drawn out of the onions, Gisella had me add two homemade vegetable broth ice cubes that I keep in my freezer for just such moments.

After draining the water from the vegetable mixture, I put it into a nice casserole dish, added the onions, a couple of tablespoons of butter, 6-8 ounces of Fontina Val D'Aosta or a sharp cheddar ( we used Milton Creamery's Prairie Breeze) cut into small cubes, 1/2-3/4 cup of freshly-grated parmigiano, and mixed until the cheese turned the dish into a creamy delight. 

Serve topped with a few twists from your pepper mill and a sprinkling of minced sage.  As a main course, the dish will make five hungry people smile from deep inside.  You can substitute kale for the cabbage, green beans in the spring, and try farro instead of rice.

During the show, with help from Indian Hills Culinary Arts students Savannah Strode and Kellie Kuenzler, Gisella will make a panino for Halloween, pumpkin soup, grape mostarda, and pollo schiachiatta.

Also, Emily Rose Shaw, our health coach, gives us an inside look at the Blue Zone initiative, and Tom Allen will provide the musical entertainment.

ON THE KRUU STREAM-Wednesday, October 16, 7:00 pm CDT, and Friday, October 18, 7:00 am CDT

Many thanks to Hy-Vee Catering Manager, Dennis Lopp, who subbed for me when we needed to rush out of town to actually (after a false alarm the week before) welcome the arrival of our second granddaughter, Emma Rose.  The Indian Hills ladies, Savannah Strode and Kellie Kuenzler, made a spooktacular Halloween bash so tune in to check out their pumpkin and black bean soup, Mesclun Meanies, and pumpkin bars for dessert.

Thanks to Fairfield Media Center for helping us out. 

The KRUU archives of GREAT TASTE are here.