Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Even since my friends and I went wild for Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen a few years ago, ris-AHH-toe (and when we play our cards right, beef wellington) has been way popular around here.  Risotto is also pretty fool proof, just don't rush it...

This recipe really works because it requires so few ingredients, and there are a bunch of ways to mix it up.  I used shitaake mushrooms instead of chantrelle and farro instead of brown rice (cutting down cooking time by about 20 minutes).  I omitted the butter and cheese (and it still tasted good!), because farro will naturally turn out creamy.  

P.S.  Here are a few pics from the Mad Men themed party we had last weekend:
The alcohol spread.  
Circa, 1960
Wild Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto
From How to Cook Everything
1 ounce dried mushrooms, such as porcini or a mixture of chanterelles, morels, etc.
1½ cups hot water
5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 medium onion, minced
1½ cups short grain brown rice
½ cup dry white wine (if you have it)
parmesan cheese (if you have it)
In a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in hot water until soft, 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Scoop mushrooms out of soaking liquid, squeeze them dry, and roughly chop.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, stirring for about a minute, then add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, but do not let the mushrooms brown. Add the rice and stir until it is coated with butter. Season with salt and pepper, then add wine, if using. Stir and let the liquid bubble away.
Add mushroom soaking liquid to stock (careful to hold back any sediment collected in the bottom of the bowl). Add ½ cup of stock to rice at a time, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue ladling in the stock and stirring the rice until the rice is tender (at least an hour, if using brown rice). When risotto is done, stir in the softened butter and parmesan, if using.

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