INT. MR. R’S KITCHEN–DAY
Caryn stumbles into the kitchen, trying to carry way too many grocery bags in at once. She unloads the bags in the middle of the floor and takes a breath.
Flora is sitting at the table. The baseball game plays from the television in the corner.
I’ve been trying your cell phone for an hour!
Caryn grabs the phone from her back pocket and flips it open. Dead.
Flora starts to pick up the bags.
Oh, it’s just that he wanted those rice balls again.
Caryn bends down to hear her.
Rice balls? You mean the risotto cakes?
Yes, those cakes. With artichokes.
But I don’t have any more artichokes. And I was just at the store!
Flora smiles apologetically. Caryn tosses the phone on the counter and heads back out.
Stupid cell phone.
INT. GROCERY STORE–LATER
Caryn scampers around the corner armed with the artichokes to discover that the only open checkout lane has a long line of HOLLYWOOD MISFITS. Their carts are filled as if expecting a blizzard.
Caryn gets in line. She smiles hopefully at the PINK-HAIRED MAN ahead of her and nods toward her two artichokes. He turns away as if he never saw her.
She sighs loudly, but no one in line hears. She picks up a copy of Cooking Light and flips impatiently through it. No interest in reading, she goes to replace it when she GASPS so dramatically that the whole line turns around to see if she’s okay.
Caryn doesn’t notice the attention of the crowd. She slowly lifts a large, glossy tabloid off the rack.
Sprawled across the cover is a huge photograph of Mr. R. and Miss A., arm in arm, laughing. In bright yellow letters, the headline reads: “Secretly Married?”. Caryn holds the magazine loosely in her hands, afraid to turn the page.
TEENAGE GIRL (O.S.)
Are you getting out of line, lady?
Caryn dazedly looks up to see the line moving ahead. The TEENAGE GIRL behind her taps her foot on the tile.
TEENAGE GIRL (CONT’D)
I’m missing the game here. Are you getting out of line or not?
Yeah. I am.
2 large artichokes
1 TB. lemon juice
2 large leeks
1 garlic clove
2 TB. olive oil
3/4 cup arborio or carnaroli rice
2-1/2 chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko, or crisp breadcrumbs
1. Hack out the heart of the artichoke with a sharp knife. Clean all the fuzzy parts off and dice into large chunks. Douse with lemon juice. Slice white and light green parts of the leeks into 1/2″ slices.
2. Pulse artichokes, leeks and garlic in food processor until finely chopped.
3. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan.
4. Heat oil over medium-high heat in large skillet or risotto pan. Add the artichoke, leeks and garlic and saute until tender. Stir in the rice and cook over medium heat until opaque, about 1 minute. Pour 1 cup of the hot broth into the rice, stirring constantly until liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring the rice while it simmers. When all the stock has nearly been absorbed and the rice is thick, stir in parmesan until melted.
5. Remove risotto from heat and spread out in a tray to cool until room temperature (or refrigerate overnight). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a large cookie sheet.
6. With wet hands, form risotto into compressed round balls about the size of a fist. Flatten slightly and dip each one into egg and then panko. Space cakes evenly on oiled cookie sheet.
7. Bake until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 10-12 cakes.