Posted by: smortimer | 2009/05/20

Forest Mushroom Risotto

As promised here is the recipe for a Risotto I made this weekend.  I even have a few pictures.

bowl of risotto

Well I guess I am no food stylist and I could use a better camera.  🙂

Recipe:

Forest Mushroom Risotto:

1 cup of dried forest mushrooms

2 cups of arborio rice

4.5 cups of beef stock – hot

1 cup of hot water

½ cup of finely diced onion

3 cloves of minced garlic

4 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of canola oil

1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, both on the stems and leaves removed and finely chopped

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

½ cup white wine, Riesling or Gewürztraminer work well here.

Put the dried mushrooms into a large heatproof bowl and add 2-3 cups of hot water. These need to sit for 15-20 minutes.

dried mushrooms soaking

Once the mushrooms have softened and increased in size, they should be soft as well, remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside. Using a wire strainer and cheese cloth, or a coffee filter, strain the liquid that the mushrooms were soaking in and reserve.

left over mushroom water

You don't want all that gunk in your rice

Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the canola oil to a heavy bottomed saucepan. Once butter is melted add the onions and saute until they are soften and just starting to colour. A pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper should be added here as well. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute. Another pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper as well as a sprig of thyme, bay leaf and rosemary that you have “bruised” with the back of your knife. Add the minced garlic and stir well to incorporate. Keep everything in the pan moving here, the garlic can burn pretty easily. Mix in the Worcester sauce and keep stirring. If you pan is really dry at this point you can add another tablespoon or so of canola oil. You want this to be fairly wet for this next step. Once everything is softened and you can smell the garlic add in the arborio rice. Stir well you want to coat all the rice with the mixture.

just adding the rice

The edges of the rice should get translucent, and you want to cook it for a few minutes, keep stirring so nothing sticks and starts to burn. Add the wine and keep stirring as the wine is absorbed by the rice. Start adding the hot beef stock ½ to ¾ of cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb most of the liquid before you add the next amount. You want your stock to be hot or you will bring down the temperature of your pan each time you add it and this will dramatically increase your cooking time, and the rice can go really sticky and clumpy. After you have added half of the stock you should taste, you want to test the rice for how hard it is and taste for seasoning. You will most likely need to add a bit of salt and pepper at this point. As you get to the end of the beef stock you should taste the rice again. It is possible that your rice will be done now, though I almost always find that you need to add some more liquid. This is why you want to have the hot water on hand ahead of time. Start adding ½ to ¾ of a cup of the hot water, the same way as the stock. You will have to taste more frequently now.

everything added

The rice should be really creamy, and still have some texture when you bite it. You don’t want to turn it into mush. When it is just about ready add the cheese and the last two tablespoons of butter in little bits. Turn the rice gently in the pan to mix in the cheese and butter as they melt. Sprinkle the finely chopped herbs over the rice and you are ready to serve. I would serve this with the same wine you have used in the Risotto.

This risotto was a bit of a revelation for me.  I was having a pretty crappy weekend, well last couple of weeks really.  I must have gone back and forth in my head several times that I was going to make it, that I didn’t feel like it, before I actually got up and made the rice.  As I was making it, it was like a transformation.  My stress and lousy mood just fell away as the rice cooked.  Chopping the onions, stirring in each addition of broth, it was like the best therapy ever.  I will have to remember this.

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