Red Risotto

THE PREDOMINANCE OF ASSIMILATIONIST CONSTRUCTS… meant that questions about how Australian institutions had responded to an influx of people of non Anglo-Saxon origin simply did not come to the surface. There was no ‘decision’ to rule such questions out of order. They did not arise; they were not ‘confronted’…1

That’s your favourite Australian domestic sociologist and mine, Jean Martin, describing non-decisionmaking in action—when something’s simply ruled out of public knowledge as a subject to have ideas about.

We’ve seen a bit of it this week. The idea of confronting the bad policy decisions of the last thirty years, the cabinet wars, the tax breaks, and the aggressive wealth transfers to the rich, that everyone else in the world recognises as perverse, are beyond the Americans’ institutions. The idea of having a sustainable revenue source for public sector spending has eluded, as far as I can read, everyone in the United States Congress and White House. Most bafflingly of all, we apparently look, around the world, to the quasi-religious rituals of the major ratings agencies for evaluations of a sovereign State’s legitimacy.

Austerity. Really? Well, I suppose the Vatican still endorse it too. By their fruits, shall you know them, and so on.

I say: send the Americans Eric Roozendaal—there’s a man who knows how to make imaginary motions to protect an imaginary set of letters, without ever at any point believing a shred of it. I began to imagine, at one point yesterday evening, the effect of sending Michael Costa to advise the White House, to give the Republicans a kindred spirit in totally uncompromising, bloody-minded and unpleasant “negotiation”.

It’s at that point, you have to recognise that your line of thought is going nowhere good, and you have to draw a line under the evening, sit down to watch your team lose, and eat risotto—the recipe and ingredients for which have been kindly made cheap and accessible by sixty years of institutionally undecided Italian chain migration. Grazie!

Red Risotto, a bottle of red wine and a glass

Liam’s Red Risotto

Fry thinly sliced chorizo in a hot pan until they’re nice and crisp and black. Add thinly chopped Spanish onion, carrot and celery. Brown up a middy full of arborio rice, then splash it with red wine, then add chicken stock in the usual gradual evaporative way. Add as much red capsicum you can afford, though at $15-$17 a kilo that might not be a whole lot. Add parmesan or grana padano to taste.2

Despair at Adam Goodes in front of goal.

1 Martin, Jean. The Migrant Presence: Australian Responses 1947-1977 (Research Report for the National Population Inquiry). George Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1978.

2 Regular readers of this blog will recognise this as a euphemism. Go nuts.



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Anthony · 7 August 2011, 17:36 · #

“Chorizo”? “Spanish” onion? Are you making risotto or paella?

My office is in a building named after Jean Martin, and I feel honoured by this

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Helen · 8 August 2011, 06:20 · #

“$15-$17 a kilo”? Oh dear lord. They were “only” $13 a kilo here in Melb last time I looked. When I buy one I have to hide it from the kids who eat them raw like apples. Last one I bought they found it anyway!

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Liam · 8 August 2011, 07:44 · #

My office is in a building named after Jean Martin

That’s very cool. I’m glad she’s got one.

When I buy one I have to hide it from the kids who eat them raw like apples

I went to high school with a weightlifter who used to eat two like that, every lunch, along with half a boned, roasted and shredded chicken and a small bowl of plain pasta. It was something to watch.

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Casey · 10 August 2011, 13:59 · #

Frack. I’m with anthony.

“chorizo, a middy full of arborio rice, capsicum”

Sweet Jesus, what do you think you are doing? You are like one of those pseudo Italians who live in Brooklyn – say like snookie from that Jersey Shore – whose ancestor arrived on those shores in 1256. You’ve lost the language, all the knowledge – all you have is some crazy accent that is neither American or Italian and loads of black eyeliner and you think this makes you authentic and that you can break the rules. And that recipe is risotto? Well you can stop with the fake tan, it’s seeped into your brain cells and that’s not good. You think cause you call it Risotto, it is. Well just call it Paella and piss of the Spanish will you?

Good God.

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Liam · 10 August 2011, 14:22 · #

With a name like Hogan, Casey, just how authentically Italian do you expect me to be?

When I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it to mean, even a word that don’t mean nothin’, like looptid

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Casey · 10 August 2011, 22:08 · #

With a name like Hogan rather than – let’s say – William of Orange, Liam, yes I expect something closer to the great cuisine of Lombards or wherever the frack that lumpen rice came from. In fact, growing up in the inner West Liam, hanging at Bar Italia like a true son Liam, walking the thin red Catholic line of our forebears Liam, hanging out with the Dellas and the Iemmas, the Bosca’s – I expect you to be authentic of course I do. After all, BA Santamaria Liam. Alright forget him. Look, just rename it Looptid Paella and I will shut up. Let the Spanish deal with it. Capsicum? Why not just stab me in the eye with your wooden spoon, that way I can’t read the ingredients and everyone will be happy. Man, this is the best food blog I have ever ever been to, serious. You never fail to shock and awe and shit.

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Liam · 11 August 2011, 21:53 · #

You never fail to shock and awe and shit

The bombe alaska begins in five minutes.


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