You went to your local farmers market and found an abundance of beautiful mushrooms from Shiitake, Baby Bellas, Button, Oyster. Now what do you do with them? Well these are a few examples of mushrooms that would work really well with risotto and are easy to find at your local market.
Did you say Risotto?
Yes, risotto is that wonderful and very versatile Italian dish that is despite what you have read or seen, is not that difficult to make as long as you follow the directions. This is also the dish that usually sends Chef Gordon Ramsey into a tail spin on “Hells Kitchen” for being under seasoned and under cooked.
Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is cooked with a stock over low heat, till you get a creamy velvety consistency. The stock used ranges from a poultry based, beef, vegetable, or seafood based. There are many variations of risotto from pumpkin to garlic-parmesan, but they all share four main ingredients butter, stock, wine and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. Risotto is traditionally made in Italy with a high starch and short to medium grain rice called Arborio, Baldo, Carnaroli, Maratelli, Padano, Roma, and Vialone Nano. These varieties of rice can absorb liquids and release starches, so they are stickier than the long grain varieties. If you are unable to find arborio, or if it’s too pricey then pick up Calrose rice. I’ve used calrose many times and the results are very similar, at least to me they are.
Risotto when plated should remind you of how lava flows, and is not stiff or stacked 2 inches high on the plate.
- The key to perfect risotto are these four things
- Patience. Risotto takes an average of 25-30 minutes to cook.
- Have in a separate sauce pan the stock you plan to use already heated on another burner on simmer.
- Do not leave the stove once you start adding your stock. Risotto creamy texture is a result of constant stirring that releases the starch in the rice.
- Do not salt the risotto until you are ready to plate as the stock, and cheeses used have a lot of sodium to begin with, and by adding more salt you risk over salting your dish. So just use a pinch for the mushrooms and wait to see if you need to add more, after dish is done.
3-5 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 lbs mushrooms any variety, sliced.
1 large shallot, finely diced or 1 small red onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced fine
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups vegetable, or chicken stock
1 cup water
1 cup white wine
2 cups arborio or calrose rice
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped fine
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat stock in a medium saucepan and heat to simmer over medium heat.
In a large sauté pan heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil over med high heat until very hot. Add mushrooms and sauté the mushrooms over high heat until golden in color. Add a small pinch of salt halfway through cooking, but do not add anymore until the risotto is finished.
Remove sautéed mushrooms and set aside, Taste and correct for salt, if you haven’t already added salt..
Using the same large sauté pan or pot set over medium heat, add butter, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and garlic and chopped shallots. Cook and stir until the onion or shallots become soft about 3-4 minutes, but do not scorch or brown.
Next add the rice. and using a wooden spoon stir to make sure all the rice grains are coated in the fat and have become translucent around the edges, about a minute or two.
Add wine and stir all ingredients until the liquid is absorbed 50%.
Next add 1 cup of the simmering broth. Stir the rice, making sure you get along the corners of your pot with your spoon, so the rice doesn’t stick.
Stir in about three-quarters of the mushrooms to the pan around this time.
Continue stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Then add another 1 cup of broth and keep stirring. This is the part where you do not leave the kitchen.
Continue adding your stock now reduce by adding 1/2 cup at a time, add more each time liquid is absorbed and until rice is al dente.
If there is any liquid remaining that should be okay, unless its soupy. Also the rice should never be crunchy. The best way to know you are on the right track is to taste a grain at a time to determine when the rice is done.
Stir in about 1/4 cup Parmesan , and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Salt to taste.
Spoon risotto into a bowl. Top with the remaining sautéed mushrooms, cheese and a sprinkle of chopped parsley, and some fresh cracked black pepper.
- Easy Peasy Pumpkin Risotto (whipadish.wordpress.com)
- Chicken and Corn Risotto (simpleandcomplexjacob.wordpress.com)
- Classic risotto recipe and caramelized onions (plus mushrooms and bacon) (bowenappetit.com)
- 6 Simple Do’s and Don’ts of Risotto (selectitaly.com)