I almost wish I had been having a bad day today. There’s nothing like risotto, but there’s really nothing like it at the end of a lousy day. And I’m not just talking about eating it. The cooking process is therapeutic – slow, repetitive, and mindless. I love that it ties me to the stove, and for at least 30 minutes, limits my world to a few square feet of simmering broth, creamy rice, butter, and the rest of the bottle of wine. I’m comfortably hobbled.
Also, I’m extra proud to be posting my first blog pictures taken with the new camera. But even a great camera is not going to make mushroom risotto photogenic so I’ve kept the visuals raw. I promise to break my trend here and make a pretty dish next time.
This risotto is boy friendly, but not blatantly so. It has a really intense mushroom flavor that I imagine would go marvelously with beef, and is best served on a rainy day.
Intensely Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from a recipe by Redneck Epicurean on recipezaar.com
6 - 7 cups chicken broth (homemade is the best)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs thinly sliced mushrooms (white button, portabella, shitake, or a combination is just fine; if you use shitakes, make sure you stem them first)
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 - 8 tablespoons butter, depending
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chives
Heat the broth in a saucepan over low heat.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and brown the mushrooms. You will likely have to do this in several batches. Put the mushrooms and their liquid in a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet, and cook the shallots on medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the rice, coating it with oil, and cook about 2 minutes or until the rice has taken on a pale golden color.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the wine, and stir constantly until it is fully absorbed.
Add ½ cup of heated broth and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, ½ a cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Depending on the temperature, type of pan, and even the weather, the amount of broth you need may vary. When six cups have been added, it’s a good point to start tasting for texture. The rice should be tender but not mushy. If the rice is too firm, continue adding broth, ½ a cup at a time, and cooking and stirring until the risotto has the texture you like.
Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, and chives. Add the butter enrichment. If you’re feeling it, why not make it 8 tablespoons instead of 4.
Add the parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.