Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

I made this mushroom risotto for Ian's birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I want to post about it before I get wrapped up in the fun I had cooking with Kristen in Massachusetts.  This was his birthday dinner, and it was delicious.  We also went to Longman and Eagle with a friend to celebrate.  If you have never been, go.  Book a flight if necessary and follow the signs to the outdoor beer garden because it is a glorious place.  The foie gras is out of this world too.

The mushroom risotto I made was pretty good too.  But I may advise that if you are like me and cook in a tiny apartment with very little air flow on a 95 degree day, choose a different recipe.  Risotto is not something to just throw on and check back later.  You must stir it the entire time or it won't be good.  But it's worth it, so make it.  This is a recipe from with a little twist.

Warm six cups of chicken stock over low heat.  Don't boil.  Thinly slice 1 pound of portabello and button mushrooms.  I'm pretty sure I used a lot more than that and I used cremini because they are so much better than button mushrooms.  Saute in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for 3-5 minutes.  If you slice thinly enough it, they will cook very fast.  Remove from heat and set aside.

The only twist in this recipe happens here.  I went to a specialty grocery store, Foodstuffs, and bought this porcini mushroom and white truffle gravy goo.  I threw it into the mushrooms for another layer of flavor.  Oh my.  So good.  In the pan you're going to cook the risotto in, add more olive oil and saute two diced shallots for about a minute.  Then add one and a half cups of risotto or arborio rice and coat the rice with the oil.  Cook until it turns a nice golden color.  Pour in a half of a cup of wine.  The recipe calls for a dry white and I had rose, so that's what I used.

Stir until the liquid is fully absorbed.  Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock at a time and stir until it is absorbed every time.  You will see the risotto become nice and thick.  It should be done in about 15-25 minutes depending on your taste preferences.  I didn't end up using all of the chicken stock, but you may.  When the risotto is done, add the mushrooms and the liquid from the pan to the risotto along with 4 tablespoons of butter, 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives (I used 1 tablespoon dried chives).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  This is a very hearty dish so you can serve it by itself or you can serve it as a side dish to steak if you wanted to prepare a fancy meal.

What's your favorite birthday dish?

Mushroom Risotto
6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1-2 pounds assorted mushrooms
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I used 1 tablespoon dried chives)
salt and pepper to taste

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