In the never-ending hysteria surrounding Hillary Clinton‘s email communication, a new batch of leaked messages have brought members of the Democratic nominee’s staff under scrutiny as well. Most headlines focused on the partial unveiling of speeches Clinton gave to a variety of Wall Street firms after she left her Secretary of State post. However, another exchange raises serious questions about the too-close-for-comfort relationship between Clinton’s campaign staff and those working for the Clinton Foundation.
The smoking gun is a back-and-forth between John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, and Peter Huffman, who was once stationed in Africa as a senior official with the Clinton Foundation. The subject? Risotto and its tedious preparation.
“So I have been making a lot of risotto lately,” Huffman wrote on September 18 of last year. While he “more/less” follows the instructions given to him by Podesta, Huffman wonders why stock must be added a half- or even quarter-cup at a time, rather than all at once. (Risotto is an Italian rice dish wherein the grains are cooked in the stock of meat, vegetables, or fish, sometimes with onions, butter, or wine.)
Podesta was nonplussed. While he concedes that the dish’s starch components would eventually soak up the liquid no matter the pace of disbursement, he cautions that “that’s not what you want to do.” He explains:
“The slower add process and stirring causes the rice to give up it’s [sic] starch which gives the risotto it’s [sic] creamy consistency. You won’t get that if you dump all that liquid at once.”
However, the veracity of Podesta’s advice is a matter of some disagreement. Serious Eats, in part of its The Food Lab series — which explores the science of food and cooking — argues that most of the starch in risotto exists, prior to cooking, on particles that sit on the surface of the rice. Stirring, while crucial, serves primarily to ensure an even cook.
Neither Huffman nor the Clinton campaign have issued statements on the matter.