Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

This mushroom risotto is creamy, earthy and delicious.  It's the perfect side dish or entree to warm you up on these cold winter days.

Don't be scared of making risotto, it's not the huge labor of love people make it out to be.  You can either make it the more traditional way (adding small amounts of stock at a time) or the easy way (dump the stock all at once).  It does take about 20 minutes for each method, but it's not all active work.  You can prep something else, while keeping your eye on the risotto.  I definitely recommend you try this recipe. 

A word of the wise when making risotto: make sure the stock is hot.  If it's not hot, you'll slow down the cooking process and your risotto will take longer to finish.

Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 Tbsp (half stick) butter
2 cups mixed mushroom varieties (such as white button, shiitake, chanterelle, or portabello mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup shallots, minced (can substitute onion)
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes (if using chanterelles, dry sauté first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before adding the butter). Add white wine, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add cream, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

In a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan, heat oil and remaining butter on medium low. Add shallots or onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat with butter and oil. 

Adding Stock Method 1:  Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 20 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.

Adding Stock Method 2:  Dump all the simmering stock into the rice mixture all at once, stirring occasionally to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  This process will take about 20 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.

Stir in the mushroom mixture and the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with parsley (if using). 

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