Wild Mushroom Risotto

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We learned how to make risotto the “real” way this week in culinary school. Risotto sort of gets a bad rap for being pretty labor intensive, but really it only adds about an extra 10 minutes or so of standing there monitoring it and adding liquid 1/2 cup at a time. Some add 1 cup, but I add less and also cook on a lower temperature. The reason is that it enables the starches in the rice to come out slowly, creating a creamy texture, and not simply mush, which is pretty much what you’ll get if you add all the liquid at once or too quickly. I use Arborio rice. It is an Italian short-grain rice. This is a perfect rice for risotto due to its high amylopectin starch content. Rices with a high starch content taste “starchy.” However, they blend really well with other flavors which covers it. That is why wine, and broth work beautifully with risotto, and not water. If you can’t find arborio you can substitute another short or medium grain rice with a high starch content. I’ve heard that white sushi rice works well, but I haven’t tried it.

  • 7 cups broth (added 1/2 cup at a time)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1-2 lbs. variety of mushrooms (I used Portobello, white and shitake)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 TBL garlic or to taste
  • 3 TBLS. oil
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 2 TBL. minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté mushrooms until soft, set aside
  2. Sauté onions
  3. Add rice and stir, then cook for a few minutes. You are trying to toast the rice.  Basically, doing this keeps the starches from coming out too quickly and ruining the texture of your risotto.
  4. Now, add your wine and wait a minute or two until it’s absorbed. Yes, stir it.
  5. Keep adding and stirring your liquid 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for each to be absorbed before adding the next. By the time you’ve added all the broth your rice is done. This takes about 20 minutes. No need to set a timer really. My stove is electric <groan> and I kept it set on 5 once I added the rice, after sautéing.
  6. Once your rice is done, add mushrooms, parsley and cheese. Save a little parsley and cheese to garnish your yummy risotto.

My kids were begging for third helpings, but I told them I needed to pack some for my daughter’s lunch tomorrow. My son was NOT pleased… LOL.

I’m not very good at writing recipes, ingredients in order and instructions, but I am learning, so bear with me, please 🙂

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