Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto
It took me years before I made risotto; I was intimidated. Once I made it, I wanted to kick myself for not trying it earlier. It is easy to make. There are a couple tricks to good risotto: (1) use the correct kind of rice: Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano; (2) slowly add heated broth to the rice; and (3) quickly saute rice before adding the broth. I do not stir my risotto constantly and it still comes out creamy and wonderful. When I made this for dinner, we ate it as our entire meal. Later, I felt guilty for not serving it with a vegetable or at least a salad. Well, there is always next time.

Mushroom Risotto

4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
5 Cloves of Garlic, Sliced
3 Leeks (135 g) Thinly Sliced
Salt and Pepper, to Taste
8 oz. (225 g) Fresh Mushrooms, Sliced
1 Cup (250 ml) of Whole Milk
1/4 Cup (60 ml) of Heavy Cream
4 Cups (1 L) of Vegetable Stock
1/4 Cup (29 g) of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Leeks and mushrooms

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté leeks and garlic in olive oil until the leeks are tender and the garlic is starting to brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add mushrooms and reduce heat to low and cook until mushrooms are tender. Increase heat to medium-high and add rice, sauté for one minute.

In a separate saucepan heat vegetable broth.
Pour the milk and cream into the skillet with the mushrooms and leeks and heat to a simmer.

Stir the heated vegetable stock into the skillet one cup at a time.

Wait until the stock is absorbed before you add another cup. When the rice is tender, serve hot, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

The bottom line: will I make this again? Yes, I will. It probably won't be exactly the same risotto, and that is what is wonderful about risotto, its flexibility. This time I used baby portabellas; next time I might use shiitake, button, or cremini mushrooms (most likely whatever looks good). I can add 1/2 cup of wine (and decrease the broth or eliminate the cream). I can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. This summer, I will probably add a couple of tablespoons of fresh herbs after I take it off the heat and before I top it with Parmesan cheese.

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