Chicken.

I don’t really like cooking chicken. I don’t like the way it smells and I don’t like that I have to wash my hands more cooking chicken than I do degreasing my car’s engine. I don’t like the fact that the “Next Food Network Star” candidate Shane, recently ousted, did NOT wash his hands on the Rachel Ray show after having handled raw chicken. I don’t like that unless you want to spend more per-pound on chicken than you pay per-gallon on gas (currently $4.259 for regular unleaded), you get chickens raised inhumanely, resulting in a flavorless, bland bird.

That said, I like chicken. I like how versatile it is. I like buffalo chicken. That, in itself, outweighs a lot of the other stuff… I also like how many ways I can change its flavor, taking potentially bland birds and transforming them into luxurious dishes that awaken the taste buds and sooth the soul. Or something like that…let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

So, I’ve started watching the Food Network, again, after only previously watched at my folks’ place, and it’s an interesting feeling. I’ve shed a portion of my culinary ambitions in favor of my photography ambitions. Well, I seem to be striking a balance between the two while going to school for photography, entrepreneurship and CIS. So, with that out of the way – what prompted the chicken?

I’m making chicken for dinner. Yay, right? Everyone has chicken for dinner, right? Pretty much, yeah. Mine’s different, tonight. I pretty much just emptied out the spice cabinet with thoughts of making a curry dish. So, I did. I used ribs-in chicken breasts, skin-on – basically everything I could do to get as much flavor out of the chicken as possible. So, I guess you’re wondering what I did for spicing, eh? Well, first off, peel the skin up off the breasts so you can stuff things under it, like bay leaves, for example. Once you’ve put the bay leaf down on the exposed breast – suppose the internet filters are going to explode? – sprinkle the spice mixture over and then place four raisins along the middle; fold the skin back over, rub with sage and sprinkle a little safflower oil over top. Pop in the oven at 350-F for roughly 40 minutes to an hour, depending how thawed the chicken you’re working with are… Oh, wait – you like how I just glossed over the spices with that “spice mixture” didn’t you? No? Rats.

I’m not sure I can remember to make everything all alphabetical, and I surely can’t remember proportions, but I can list out for you the spices involved.

  1. Curry
  2. Salt
  3. Pepper
  4. Cumin
  5. Cardamom
  6. Coriander
  7. Sage
  8. Thyme
  9. Mediterranean Oregano
  10. Crushed Ancho pepper
  11. Bay Leaves
  12. Cinnamon
  13. Nutmeg
  14. Garlic
  15. Ginger
  16. Raisins – are they a spice? OK, so, it’s a 15 ¾ spice chicken…that just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so well.

On to the sauce: it’s simple: sauté your raisins in a bit of butter until they’re puffy and soft, with some carmelization of sugars in the remaining butter…not that there should be all that much butter left. At any rate, at the point, pour in about ½ cup of milk, 1 tbl curry powder, some cinnamon, some ancho, some salt and some pepper. Cook this a bit. It’s just time to cool down a little, now, though, once you’ve attained some simmering. Once it’s cooled a bit and started to thicken, it’s going to look like it needs something. That’s where you plop two tablespoons of sour cream. Warm it up a bit, if needs be – you shouldn’t need to, since it’s still probably pretty warm – and stir it all together.

I served it over rice with some of that wonderful sauce poured over the top of it all. As for veggies, you’re on your own – curry braised broccoli sounds good to me – use more raisins and walnuts for that and you’re set!

So, there you go. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid of over-spicing – as long as you’re just adding pinches here and there, it will all come out amazingly. Enjoy and be sure to tell anyone who asks you about it, “Phil just made it up.”

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Life Like Stew

Life Like Stew. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I mean, what part of life isn’t like a boiled, season, pot of water? OK — I know that more than a few of you are lost. That’s OK. I’m tired and punchy, excited and only partially caffeinated. I would say it’s a long story of amazingly deep philosophy. Nope. If you’re familiar with the Dragonlance series of books (I stopped reading after the original 3 trilogies, so that’s the extent of my knowledge, there…), then you know gully dwarves. If you know gully dwarves, then you know the single- (and fairly empty-) minded philosophy is, “Life like stew.” Without going too deeply into this mindset, I will simply state that 2008 is going to be a better year because of this philosophy. Why? Take a seat and I’ll try to explain. Actually, you probably don’t need to take a seat; this won’t take long.

“Life like stew” translates, roughly, to “live simply.” That’s what’s going to have to happen this year for me to be happy. Does this mean shedding all my technological trappings? No. Does this mean removing the clutter from my (and my family’s) life? Yeppers. This isn’t really a New Years’ Resolution, per se, but more of a promise to myself that I won’t allow those things from the past I don’t “need” to threaten my pursuit of making me, and my family, happy, wealthy-ish and wise-er. The first step in this process is to eliminate superfluous nonsense from my (our) life. From there, achieving well thought out plans will be much easier — clutter creates chaos. Chaos breeds clutter. See the cycle? Sometimes it’s hard to see the chaos from the clutter, and vice versa…

Reimagination

I owe Quentin, Ken and Drew a quarter, each. I used a “forbidden word.” We discussed this work about 12 years ago and decided that one could not re-imagine something. Once you something is imagined, that’s it, you’re simply re-designing or modifying it, thereafter. At any rate, I’m reimagining myself for 2008. Well, not for a time period, specifically, but rather it coincides with enough of a life-changing event that it’s as good a time as any for me to figure out what I want to do when I grow up and to — and this important — do it.

It seems that I have embraced my first true love. No, not a high school sweetheart. No, not something I “loved” when I was 8. No, this is something that is a constant call, irrespective of what I’m doing. This is something that lives in my heart, and isn’t what I am doing, currently, full time. That will change. I have thought long and hard about what it is that makes me happy. I know, being happy and being wealthy don’t always go together, and I doubt that will change. I don’t see myself making money hand over fist at what I *want* to do, but I do see myself not being as crabby, not being grumpy about the “politics of work” or irritated that I don’t see myself advancing in the job where I am spending life.

I am an artist. I am a photographer. I am a cook. I am a programmer. To quote a movie or 6, “There can be only one.” Fine. I am a photographer. That’s what it’s going to be. I’m not giving up on my other two loves, but I’m not focusing on them, exclusively, for income, either. I am a photographer. What this means is I am going to have to get better equipment, dedicate myself to a schedule of shooting as well as the business side of the art, achieve discipline I’ve not had with regards to my art and, finally, come up with a business plan and not only stick to it, but make it succeed. Am I nervous about foregoing “guaranteed” income for something that could be considered a little less than scant? I mean, there is a reason there is the phrase “starving artists,” you know. Yeah, I’m nervous. I also know that there are people out there who are, already, interested in my art. It’s now much more of an exposure game, so to speak. I need to put forth the money and effort to get the portfolios created and in the hands of those who want to see them. It’s about getting my pictures out to every outlet I can to start making a name for myself. That said, I need to know what name that is going to be.

Personally, I love nature photography more than anything else. I don’t hate photographing people, but I don’t really like it, either. Most of that is because I’m not comfortable with it, don’t feel I have the proper lighting equipment, etc. — whichever excuse you see fit to attach. So, I must “grow” my art. A little water, some Miracle Gro, and, more importantly, some learnin’. My initial attempts at going back to school were all aborted because of timing and/or monetary issues. Since that’s not going to be the case, now, there are no excuses. I will be registering January 2nd in Sinclair’s Photography certificate program and will be “unlearning” bad habits and learning to be more comfortable with those aspects that vex me. Of course, this also means I might have to dig up some old film cameras that haven’t seen much action, recently…

Don’t think this means you’re not going to be seeing new recipes from Chef Phil. Don’t think I’m not going to continue writing code for my various side projects. However, don’t expect that they’re going to be getting a lot of time from me until this Philip M Ware Photography gets established. So, now, I have to finish cataloging the bird photographs I do have, getting them into an organized site and getting it exposed. I need to update my pmwdesigns.net site. I need to commit. That’s the hardest part, isn’t it? Well, not this time. (I hope.)

Rats, Thomas Keller and You

Rats
We finally got around to watching “Ratatouille,” last night. It’s a pretty neat film. There’s plenty there for kids, adults, anyone in between. There’s no singing, which is something that plagues (in my opinion) Disney films, but the music is well-suited for the movie. That said, Remy (the main character), is an inspiration to us all, really. What? You don’t think that a rat can inspire? You must be new to the whole Disney over-personification process. I kid, but…not really. The one thing that Disney always seems to be good at is taking the lowliest of woodland creatures (or brown rat) and turning them into heroic visions that we, ourselves could only aspire to be. This isn’t really that different.

The moral of the story is something that all foodies, not just critic “Mr. Ego,”cringe at hearing. It says, “Anyone can cook.” I thought, at first, “ooh…that’s not true, really.” The more I thought about it, though…the more it’s pretty spot on. Anyone can cook. It’s just that operative word that gets ignored a lot — whether everyone should cook. I didn’t take much away from the movie other than “anyone can cook” and “be true to yourself.” That’s enough, though, don’t you think?

I recommend the movie, by the by. Rent it or buy it, today. If you’re in the culinary field, then I would recommend buying it, not just for the movie, but moreso for the interview “Conversation with Brad Byrd and Thomas Keller.” The interview sections with Brad Byrd were inspiring, but the culinarians (can I use this, here?) just perked up with the mention of

Thomas Keller
Thomas Keller is a name synonymous with the pursuit of perfection in American Cuisine and, indeed, international cuisine. His drive, his creativity and energy have and continue to inspire cheflings around the country and, as mentioned, the world. He has given American cuisine French sensibilities while maintaining its Americanality. I know, I’m just making up a lot of words, here. Shakespeare would be proud, right? I would like to think Thomas would, too. Why? If the paradigm does not fit the situation, you can either change the situation or the paradigm…it’s all about which way you choose.

The interview with Thomas Keller was one of those inspiring little shorts where we get to see an artist in his element, creating, challenging our notions of “what is” in the world of food. It’s inspiring. It’s what I strive to do in my lowly chefling job at the Dayton Art Institutes’ “Cafe Monet.” I think it’s what all cooks should aspire to do. It’s the least we can do. The inspiration I got from just watching him wander around his kitchen, talk about what inspires him…I wanted to hop into my kitchen and start creating. If it hadn’t been 10:30PM, I might have. This brings us to

You
Me? No, you. You? No, me! If this hasn’t snapped the little synapse that kept your attention span on this blog, then read on. This is something I poured over in my mind as I was trying to get to sleep, last night. This may be an odd take on the whole “grasshopper” philosophy, but we are either the Rat or the Linguini. If you haven’t seen the movie, this makes no sense whatsoever. The bottom line is that we either have innate skills in the kitchen or we have to learn them, over time, to become great. Either way, there’s greatness to be had, we just have to discover it.

I started thinking about what it was Keller said about the plates we send out being extensions of ourselves and, well, that stuck with me a little. I strive, when I do my job, to do the best I can and give the people the best food I can within the framework or what’s being served. I’m not saying that we have on the menu isn’t sufficient — it’s probably the best museum menu I’ve encountered! I’m saying that even when I think I’m sending out the best plate I can, I’m probably not — I just haven’t opened my mind enough to show me the next level, the better that best way. What I’m trying to say is that we should all strive to be like Thomas Keller. I almost wrote strive to be Thomas Keller but thought, “Nah…there’s only one Thomas, and that’s how it should be.” No, we should strive to be like him.

How like him? Or, to be less gramatically opaque, “like him, how?” Well, to be honest, take on his views of perfection. We can all strive for perfection, but never accept that we have, in fact, achieved it. We need to view every dish we plate up as one going out to the local food critic, a fellow chef, your parents, whomever it takes to inspire you to make every dish your best, every plate your masterpiece. Once we do that, we’re being more true to ourselves and more pure in the love and creativity that is the culinary arts.

So, as I wait for my chef pants to dry — forgot to change over the laundry before going to bed, oops… — I find myself inspired, again, for another day that may or may not bring the joys of what we do to the fore. It may be dealing with the people that can’t be pleased no matter what. It might bring the folks that close their eyes and are brought to a better place by your food. Either way, my mission is the same, as is yours: give them the best food possible with the best presentation possible. If you’re satisfied with either, then it’s time to move on. That’s not to say you can’t get satisfaction from your job. No, what I mean is that if you’re doing your best and it’s working for you…it’s time to ratchet it up a notch. I don’t feel like I’m making sense. I’m just trying to express my drive for what I do and what I feel we should all have, drive-wise.

I’m going to quit while I’m ahead. In summary — Ratatouille is inspiring. Not just in the Dinsey feel good way, but in the cooking way. I recommend it. The interview with Keller and Byrd is inspiring. It’s worth the DVD just for that, even if it is only 14 minutes… Strive for perfection, but never accept that you’ve reached it. Cook well.

Songs while writing:
“No Angel” — Voivod, “KATORZ”
“Blind Leading the Blind” — Dance Hall Crashers, “The Old Record
“The Happy Meal-Worm” — Circus of Dead Squirrels, “The Pop Culture Massacre and the End of the World”
“All of Me” — Lemur Voice, “Divided”
“Eleanore Rigby (Beatles Cover)” — Ancestral, “The Ancient Curse”
“Am I Evil?” — Metallica, “Garage Days Revisited”
“If I Should Fall” — Folkearth, “Drakkars in the Mist”
“Staring at the Sun” — The Offspring, “Americana”
“Nobody’s Home” — Avril Lavigne, “Under My Skin”
“Shadow of the Moon” –Blackmore’s Night, “Shadow of the Moon”
“Outsider” — Green Day, “We’re a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones”

I Just Burned Off My Face

Well, not really, but I did just open the oven and, against my better judgement, not wait the requisite 5 seconds before shoving my face down there to see/smell what’s going on.  I don’t think it would have been so bad had I not been roasting 5 Poblano, 2 Jalapeno and 1 Habenero peppers.  Wow.  My eyes may return to face, soon.  I have them soaking in some ice water, right now, until I think they’re safe to put back in. 

Now, why would I be roasting all those peppers?  Fun, of course.  The Poblanos are for Chiles Rellenos.  The Jalapenos are for a roasted pepper salsa I’m making and the Habenero is just because.  I’ve never had roasted Habenero, so I thought I’d do it.

[editor’s note: it’s now been almost 2 weeks since I started this particular one, and I’m going to continue it, now, but not in the same direction…]

The aforementioned peppers have been used in various and sundry dishes over the past 2 weeks, and finally, the mix that was created with the Habenero was used.  The mix was the roasted Habenero, 1 apple – diced, a handful of craisins and about 1/4 of a medium onion – diced.  It became the substance for the risotto to be served with dinner: baked pollock with jalapeno butter, white rice (Connor’s favorite food, most of the time), and sliced cucumbers.  It turned out pretty well, but it also turns out that Connor doesn’t like fish terribly well, and my seafood allergy has seen fit to include Pollock.

Ah, well.  The risotto was absolutely top-notch and, actually, in a small fit of inspiration, serving it with shaved coconut added another dimension altogether.  Quite nice. 

Breakfast with Beelzebub Revisited

Current Song: “Trial By Fire” — Testament, “Live in London”

Dreams are weird.  It’s pretty much the mulling ground for all things subconscious and can end you up, some mornings, waking up and either saying, “WTF, mate?!” or, as was the case, this morning, “Wow.  That f’ing ruled!”

The dream that woke me up, this morning had a dash of inspiration, a dose of wackiness and a whole lot of things that just made sense.  Well, made sense in a “I’m having a dream” kind of way, really. For those that know me, you know that I am a metalhead through and through.  I delve into other genres of music, so, maybe I can’t consider myself 100% “metal” or maybe just 100% “mental,” but you’ll notice just about all my “current songs” on my blog entries are some metal band with a gruesome name or song title.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Also, those who know me (now, more than in than in the past), I love to cook AND I am pursuing a life in the field of culinary arts.

Finally, as a bit of background for the title of this blog entry, those who remember 106.3FM, WNDY, Crawfordsville, IN, you may remember during the 6a-8a, Tuesday and Thursday slot from 1991-1992, you would be as likely to hear Metallica or Death Angel as you were to hear Enya or Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine.  One morning, the station manager dubbed my show “Breakfast With Beelzebub.”  It stuck.

So, one part wacky dream, one part love for all things thrash, one part culinary magic…what do you get?  “Phil’s House of Metal.”  In this dream, that was the best name that I, an unidentified friend who had a son who projectile vomited a lot, and Alice Cooper could come up with while having breakfast at an Awful Waffle while waiting for our wives to return from the shopping extravaganza across the parking lot.  I didn’t say that it was going to make sense, I just said I had an inspiring dream.  That said, when asked — and I’m going to hold him to this! — Alice freaking Cooper said, “Yeah, I’d eat there.”

While Alice was mum on things like funding and location, it was a very surreal part of the dream as we actually talked in a bizarre little roundtable discussion the menu items, decor, and the like.  The dream then started extrapolating all on its own how I could get support, funding and make this into a fantastic little restaurant.  I was impressed with my brain, really, for coming up with this all on it’s own. I did a little searching on the ‘Net, and it was surprising that there’s not been a lot of “metal-themed restaurants” discussed — 1 short page of 8 entries via Google.  I read the topic thread on Nevermore’s forum and had to chuckle.  I think that the most important thing was brought up, there, amidst the wacky ideas for decor, food, etc., and that was “cool, yes; profitable, no.”  That’s the sad reality of this…this dream that woke me up early.  I can see hordes of teenagers thinking, “OOH, COOL!  A METAL RESTAURANT!” and arriving and saying, “$25 for a @$%!@% entree! WTF!?”  Welcome to why, even as a slick concept, I am not sure it would fly.  I’m not into creating fast food.  I’m not the type to do a Cracker Barrel-type fare.  I’m just not geared for it, I don’t think.  I think the tag-line my dreaming mind came up with was, “Fine cuisine for the gourmand metalhead.”  I’m not sure I can see it in action, in reality, but it was a fun dream.

How Authentic is "Authentic?"

Current Song: “Gods of Second Chance” — Metal Church, “Hanging in the Balance”

OK, I’m a BIG fan of Mexican food. I love the spices and I love the flavor combinations that come together in honest-to-goodness Mexican cooking…it makes me very happy.

Now, to clarify, there are three tiers of Mexican restaurant. I mainly include the first category because of acquaintances of mine who consider Taco Bell the only “Mexican” food they like. They are:

  1. In-name-only, if that… : Taco Bell, Taco Grande, Zippy Burritos, etc…
  2. Passable, “Authentic” : Chi-Chi’s, Don Pablo’s, etc…
  3. Authentic: Little Mexico (Crawfordsville, IN), Los 3 Amigos (Dayton, OH), La Cassita (Richmond, VA), etc.

There’s a confusion, for me, however with category 2.5: almost authentic, which includes 2 restaurants in which I partook this past vacation in Virginia, Su Casa in Richmond, VA and Rancho Villas in whatever town in the next useable exit after the Quantico exit on I-95S. They were two different styles of restaurant, in that Su Casa is almost fast food, but with the “authentic” tag attached. Rancho Villas was a definite sit-down restaurant, but with much more “authentic” looking dishes and, for the record, the service there was phenomenal. They, to me, were better than “passable” as the crap-shoots you get at Don Pablo’s and Chi-Chi’s, but they get their “authentic” in quotes, too, unless someone can clarify something for me.

I have begun to use Chiles Rellenos as a measuring stick of authenticity. I used to use Quesadilla Rellenos, but I’ve only had 2 that were close to what I was used to and most places I’ve been to other than where I normally get them…they just don’t make them. Sad, really. Anyway, I was turned on to how Chiles Rellenos were supposed to be by Patricia at the Cafe where we both worked when she made them as she used to when growing up in Mexico City. I would, therefore, attach the authentic moniker to her cooking without any quotes, as I would figure that being born and raised in Mexico City and only having recently moved to the US would allow her to be considered an expert on cooking the Mexican food I have come to enjoy.

So, why am I making all these distinctions? Because. No, it’s because Su Casa and Rancho Villas served me Chiles Rellenos that were not what I believed they should be. However, they were both consistent with each other. They were also, however, lacking the egg coating I had come to expect…they seemed to simply be poblanos stuffed with a variation on the potato stuffing and coated with melted shredded cheddar. Lara was buoyant over the ones we had at Su Casa and lukewarm about the Rancho Villas version, but, to me — they were both WRONG. They weren’t bad, flavor-wise. I enjoyed them for what they were: cheese-covered poblanos. I am just having a hard time reconciling them as “authentic” when comparing them to what I’ve seen in my Mexican Kitchen cookbook, the recipe Rick Bayless offers up, the recipes on Epicurious.com and, basically, every other recipe I’ve found on the web. I’ve found some variations, Chiles Rellenos con Queso, etc., but even those still have the requisite egg batter that I’d come to expect and most have the picadillo meat stuffing I for which I was longing. Then again, I’ve also found there are almost as many variations as there are cooks, but the common thread seems to be the egg batter. Why, then, would these two restaurants make them differently, other than the amount of work involved? BTW — laziness is not an excuse; it just shows poor planning.

Chiles Rellenos

6 fresh Poblano peppers (Anaheim are also acceptable)
2 potatoes, ~14oz
~1c cream cheese
1 3/4c grated aged Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs, separated
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp white pepper
oil, for frying

1. Make a neat slit down one side of each chile. Place them in a dry frying pan over medium heat, turning them frequently, until skins blister.
2. Place the chiles in a strong plastic bag and tie the top to keep the steam in. Set aside for 20 minutes, then carefully peel off the skins and remove the seeds through the slits, keeping the chiles whole. Dry the chiles with a paper towel and set aside.
3. Scrub or peel the potatoes an cut them into a 1/2″ dice. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the potatoes, and let the water return to boiling point. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender. Do not over cook. Drain them thoroughly.
4. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and stir in the grated cheddar, with 1/2″ teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Add the potato and mix gently.
5. Spoon some of the potato filling into each chile. Put them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour so the filling becomes firm.
6. Put the egg whites in a clean grease-free bowl and whisk them to firm peaks. In a separate bowl, beat the yolks until pale, then fold in the whites. Scrape the mixture into a large, shallow dish and season it with the remaining salt and the white pepper.
7. Heat the oil for deep frying to 375F. Coat a few chiles first in flour and then in egg before carefully adding to the hot oil.
8. Fry the chiles in batches until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot, garnishing with a sprinkle of red chile flakes, if desired, for additional heat.

Caffeine Inspirations

Current Song: “Rust in Peace…Polaris”Technically, there was nothing inspiring about the insomniac state brought about by the drive home from Virginia.  I had merely ingested a “Double HooDoo” or some such followed by a “Code Red” chaser.  This wouldn’t have really been a problem had it not been about 2:30 or so in the afternoon, meaning the full caffeine assault would be with me for quite a while.  Quite a while…  That said, while lying awake, I had some time to think and when I think, it’s generally about cooking/creating, so something very good came out of it.Apple/Mushroom/Walnut stuffed Chicken Roulade with Apple/Walnut Risotto and a Habenero cream sauce 2 Fuji Apples1c walnuts1 c Porchini mushrooms3 skinless Chicken breasts1 c Arborio rice3 c vegetable stock8 oz cream cheese4 tbl Smart Balance (or butter, if you prefer)1/2 Habenero pepper, seeded and deveinedpreheat oven to 350 degrees F.1.  In a food processor, blast the walnuts and mushrooms until VERY fine.  Saute the walnut/mushroom mixture over medium heat in about 3tbl butter until golden brown and smelling irresistible.2.  Add walnut mixture to apples and mix thoroughly.  Add a pinch of Taragon, about 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.3.  Pound the three chicken breasts flat — approx 1/8″ thick.  Any thicker and it will be a pain to roll everything in.4.  Spread a THIN layer of the apple/walnut mixture over the underside of the chicken breast.  Roll, carefully, until the chicken breast is completely rolled up with very little, if any, of the stuffing oozing out the sides.  Place on a prepped broiler pan.  Do this for all three.  Place in the oven and cook for 25 or so minutes or until the juice runs clear when the thermometer is removed…the thermometer should be between 150 and 155.1.  Prep the risotto as you normally would, and when it’s 90% done, stir in the remaining apple/walnut mixture.1.  In a double-boiler, melt the cream cheese.  Add the Habenero half and allow it to “steep” in the cheese.  Add the remaining butter to give some fluidity to the sauce.  Cook long enough for the habenero to give it’s essential flavor and some heat without giving you something that’s inedible.I served this with the risotto being formed from a ramakin off center on the plate with the roulade being cut into thin slices and placed around the risotto, propped against it.  I then took the habenero-cream sauce and placed a tablespoon or so atop the risotto.  I also served this with carmelized ginger-balsamic carrots.