Friday, August 24, 2012

It RAINED and a recipe!

A celebration is in order...last night it rained in Wichita County! Just 10 minutes before the skies broke open and poured beautiful rain on the parched land, I had told my mom on the phone, "Looks like there's a storm brewing south of us, of course it will miss us like always." But as I stood doing dishes at Levi's, getting ready to make sweet corn risotto with spicy shrimp, it started...first with wind and giant drops then it just kept coming. It rained for an hour and a half straight.

The electricity went out so I abandoned the idea of cooking supper and Levi and I just watched it rain. I have never seen him so happy. He was estatic, like a child on Christmas morning. If you're not from a farming community, that may sound silly, but my man was beaming and joyful because of the rain. It could've rained for 30 minutes and he'd have been happy. But it continued to pour basically right on top of us and the surrounding 2 miles for 90 minutes giving us a blessed total of 5.1 inches. The driveway flooded, the roads were flooding. Levi stripped down to his boxers to keep his clothes from getting completely soaked as he darted from the front door to the rain gauge watching it fill inch by inch.

Rain is a funny thing out here. A neighbor 5 miles down the road only got 2.35 inches, which as dry as it is, is still a tremendous blessing. Levi's parents living about 10 miles north got next to nothing but wind and dirt. I consider ourselves, or really the landlord, lucky this time. Though we don't have land of our own, the rain certainly lifts one's spirits. Levi's job has been slow all summer because without rain, farmers don't want to put the extra money in their crops if they are to just be victim to the drought. We now can possibly plant a yard at Levi's. Real grass instead of blow-dirt and weeds. Oh the simple joys in life!

Deep-ish water and it's moving

As a child, I recall my family always loading up in the pickup and riding around after a large rain storm, checking the fields, seeing the water accumulate. It brought me joy as Levi and I did the same thing last night. Seeing the water accumulating in the ditches, pastures and fields. Listening to the water gurgle through the culverts and smelling the clean, rain air. Seeing other pickups cruising around checking out the miraculous amount of precipitation that came from the sky. Watching and listening to the White Woman run. No, not a gringa like myself...though that would be quite the sight, the White Woman is a creek.

That is the thing to do when it rains in Wichita County - especially when it's a good one.  Wichita County has a creek that lies dry for a majority of the year...probably making most who just pass through the county laugh at the signs indicating White Woman Creek. Last night, the White Woman was gushing...running harder than it has in at least the last couple of years. That's what people do in a farming community for the White Woman run. You could tell by the flashers and brake lights on the bridge north of Levi's house there was quite a crowd. It was, in fact, the first time I had seen the White Woman with water in it in real life.  
The White Woman Creek
I did eventually make my sweet corn risotto with spicy shrimp and we delightfully ate it around 9:30 after one of the most exciting evenings we've had in a while. See the recipe below. I sort of flew by the seat of my wasn't real risotto because I used orzo pasta rather than arborio rice, but it was delicious.  
Levi's second helping - I forgot to photograph mine and ate it right up!
  Sweet corn risotto/orzo with spicy shrimp  

For the Shrimp
  • 15-18 medium sized shrimp - cleaned, tails on or off your preference
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons of Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons of chipotle pepper seasoning
  • a dash or two of hot sauce - your choice
Marinate in a plastic baggie in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. More is better. :)
Saute or grill. To saute, add a little bit of butter and olive oil to a skillet and heat. Add the shrimp and a dash of garlic salt. Cook until pink.

For the Risotto
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion - I used a sweet onion, but I think a regular yellow onion would do fine
  • 2 cups of sweet corn - fresh or canned
  • 1 cup of orzo pasta or arborio rice
  • 1 cup of white wine - something dry is better - I used Kansas wine from here.
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, optional
In a large pot, over medium-high heat melt the butter. Add olive oil. When heated, add garlic and onions. Cook for about 3 minutes until the onions become slightly translucent.

Add the corn and orzo. Stir and heat for about 6 minutes. Add the wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed.

Gradually add the chicken broth, about 1 cup at a time, until it is absorbed. It is done cooking when the orzo is tender.

Stir in the cream and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with the basil and shrimp.

Levi enjoyed this a lot! It wasn't quite the same as the sweet corn and shrimp risotto I had at Yia Yia's a few years ago but it still tasted good. The spicy shrimp and creaminess and sweetness with the corn still are the best combo. I might try and brighten up the risotto a little more next time with lemon juice. Bacon would also be a good addition to add a little more saltiness.

Wow! That was long, but it feels so good to post right now! Probably should've saved the recipe for later, but it seemed to be an important ending to last night. Maybe it brought the rain. :) I still have stories about the summer - fishing story...don't let me forget. Happy Friday friends!


Abbey said...

The risotto sounds wonderful! I bet I could do it with a veggie broth instead. :) So glad to see it rained there! Are all those pictures yours from last night?

Aimee Baker said...

I love this! And your pictures are great... I will try this soon!

KSCoffeeGirl said...

Yep! All the pictures are mine.

MrsWoodythe2 said...

I will also be trying this soon!! Can't wait to see you guys this weekend, but I'm sure gonna miss the little fluff ball I'm leaving with you :'(