Mushroom Risotto

August 13, 2007

Risotto is a nice, warm blanket.

This risotto was smokey, almost beefy from the Porcini mushrooms.

I boiled 6 cups of low sodium chicken broth, and once it came to the boil, I added 1/2 cup dried Porcini mushrooms and reduced the heat to a simmer.

In my heavy bottom stock pot, I add 1/4 cup unsalted butter and 2 tblsp. olive oil.

To that add 2 cups chopped yellow onion and cook until translucent (about 8 minutes).

When the onions are ready, add 10 oz. finely chopped white button mushrooms, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic and the rehydrated Porcini’s, again, finely chooped (spoon them out of the broth).

Cook this for about 5 minutes.

Next, add 1 1/2 cups arborio  rice to toast for a bit. The kernels will start to go ghostly.

Add 2/3 cup dry white wine and stir constantly until the mixture goes dry (about 2 minutes).

Then start adding the broth in 1 cup ladles. Add a ladle and stir, stir, stir until the mixture starts to dry out. The rice is absorbing the broth.

Keep adding broth and taste after the third ladle. I like the rice firm but not mushy.

I stop adding when the rice is just al dente (it will keep cooking and softening).

At the end I add 3/4 peas and 2/3 grated Parmesan.

Garden Risotto

June 26, 2007

I love cooking risotto. Cooking is a stress reliever for me, and risotto is great in this capacity. It takes some time, constant stirring and an eye or feel for when it’s done. The dish is also something of a blank canvas, so get a good basic recipe and you can turn it into practically anything.

Simmer 6 cups of chicken stock in a saucepan first. Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil over a moderately low flame in a separate sauce pan. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook until soft. Add 1 1/2 cups of Arborio (risotto) rice and cook for about a minute. The rice will begin turning translucent.

After a minute, add 3/4 cup dry white wine – S&P to taste. When the wine’s absorbed, add 3/4 cup of the simmering chicken stock to the riz stirring constantly. When the mixture begins to dry, add another ladle of stock. Keep doing this until the riz is soft and creamy. In the end, we stirred about 18 minutes and added about 4 full ladles (2 half ladles after we added the veggies).

At the end, flavor it to make it a dish. I added 1 cup of frozen peas, 3 cups of fresh spinach, 1/4 pound of steamed, chopped asparagus, 1/4 cup Parm and about a dozen shrimp. I love this risotto. It’s hearty, creamy and very comforting.

Unwind by cooking it, tuck in by eating it.