Saturday, October 1, 2011

Porcini and Parmesan Risotto

I've never made risotto, and usually don't order it when I'm in a restaurant because I always try to eat protein and veggies as opposed to a plate of carbs like pasta or rice. However, I was CRAVING carbs and decided to venture into the unknown world of risotto making. I've heard it's not difficult to make, just time consuming and that turned out to be true.

The result of my effort was completely satisfying and full of creamy, starchy, cheesy, buttery, mushroomy flavor (I know mushroomy is not a word....but I like it anyway). My only difficulty was taking a decent picture. I posted a picture of my hard work on Facebook and received less than complimentary comments.....which I won't repeat because I don't want you to be afraid of making this fantastic recipe!

So, I think I will post my picture anyway, and let the chips fall where they may.

This recipe comes from my favorite Everyday Food Magazine (a Martha Stewart Publication). I made a couple additions which I'll notate.

Porcini and Parmesan Risotto


14.5 oz chicken broth
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed (I used a bag of dried mixed mushrooms with porcini, morels, chanterelles, etc - it was all I could find)
3 TBL butter
8 oz. mixed fresh mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake (stems removed) and oyster, all cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used only cremini - again, it was all I could find).
course salt and fresh pepper to taste
1 small onion, finely chopped (I also added 1 small shallot)
1 C Arborio rice
1/2 C dry white wine
1/2 C grated Parmesan plus more for garnish


1. In a medium saucepan, combine broth, dried mushrooms and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; cook until mushrooms are tender, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon remove mushrooms; coarsely chop.  Strain hot broth through a paper coffee filter (or fine sieve) to remove any grit from mushrooms, return broth to pan keep covered, on low heat.

The 'shrooms

2. In a large saucepan, heat 1 TBL butter over medium-high heat. Add fresh mushrooms and chopped mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, set aside.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and 1 TBL butter to saucepan. (At this point I also added the finely chopped shallot).  Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally 3-5 minutes. Add rice, and cook stirring, about 1 minute. Add wine, and cook, stirring, until absorbed, 1 minute.

4. Add 2 C of warm broth to rice mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4-5 minutes. Continue to add broth, by cupfuls (I just used a ladle) stirring occasionally and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is al dente, about 25 minutes total (you may not need all the broth).

Right before adding the broth...

LOVE my microplane for quickly grating parmesan!

5. Remove risotto from heat. Stir in Parmesan, remaining TBL butter, and half the sauteed mushrooms; season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining mushrooms, and serve immediately, garnished with more Parmesan.

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