Mushroom Risotto

Nothing says I love you like spending a lot of time on a side dish, a lot. This dish takes about 20-30 minutes to make. Now I have never made a risotto, ever. And I have no shame in telling you it scares me more than a little. I mean this is the staple of every episode of “Master Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen”. A staple, I might add, that everyone seems to do wrong the first time on the show and I am going to try it… YIKES. It’ okay, I may have to give myself a pep talk to get through this but we can do it.   You are willing to give me some moral support if I have a panic attack right?

Alright now that I’m done being neurotic you should know that I did actually get through making this dish, and it turned out incredible.  Honestly I had to do very little seasoning at all, this is a super simple risotto, and you and yours I am almost positive will love it, just like me and mine did. Now your traditional risotto takes arborio rice, but who has that, not me. So I used jasmine rice. Arborio rice is a short round fat rice, and jasmine rice is long thin and white, so there is a bit of a difference, but we can make it work and it really did.  So lets get this rather ambitious project started.  The first thing you will need is to heat your skillet on a medium heat for a few minutes then take a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and a tablespoon unsalted butter and drop them in the pan until they are hot and slightly bubbling.

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Once the oils are warm you will want to add in your veggies. The original recipe calls for onions, but I didn’t have that what I had was an old can of mushrooms sitting in the back of my pantry. “Eh this’ll work” and before you ask yes that was me talking to myself. So I took it out and drained the liquid from it setting it aside on the off chance I didn’t have enough chicken broth.

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You will want to take the mushrooms out of the can and rinse them off thoroughly. The reason for this is that canned veggies tend to get a metallic taste to them. By rinsing the vegetables thoroughly you get rid of that awful metal taste.

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See what I mean all that metal, yuck. Now that you have rinsed your mushrooms drop them into the skillet and stir occasionally until they start to brown and are warm all the way through.

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Once they are warm which will take about 5-8 minutes  you will want to add 1 cup of rice. You will then stir it into the oils and veggies.

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Keep stirring until the butter and oil is completely soaked into the rice. There will be a soft nutty aroma when you are ready for the next step.

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Now add 1/2 cup of a dry white wine, like the small box of chardonnay sitting in the back of your fridge.  Yes I did say box, go ahead make your jokes, but even this little boxed wine adds amazing flavor to this dish.

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Once the wine has been absorbed into the rice you will want to add another two tablespoons of butter stirring constantly to avoid burning.

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Once that is in you can start adding your chicken broth. Now you can buy chicken broth at the store it comes in a box already in liquid form, but you can also get bouillion cubes and add it to hot water. Or you can make your own chicken stock by boiling a whole chicken or chicken pieces. The alternative which I took takes a lot more effort. You have to Go to the hospital have a baby, get put on an all liquid diet for a few days where they give you several packets of powdered chicken broth, don’t use them. Forget they’re there and months later find them in your camera case of all places. Then mix them with water and use it in a risotto. I don’t recommend that method. It’s a lot more work for a risotto than necessary. However you make the broth now is the time you add it one cup at a time.

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You will want to stir constantly at this point to so that you don’t burn the rice, because it can burn very easily.

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This is what it looks like after 2 cups have soaked in. Over all this recipe takes about 3 1/2 cups of broth, or mushroom juice. I used both.

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After you have slowly added about 3 cups of broth, but before you add the last little bit you will want to add about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

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As you can see you can add this when you still have some moisture in your risotto.

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Mix in and add the last 1/2 cup of broth. Now you want your risotto to be al dente which means slightly firm but with a soft center. Now when it’s done the risotto will have a creamy consistency. At this point you can adjust the seasoning using some simple sea salt. I actually didn’t need to use any additional seasonings with this. It was that good.

What do you think? Not bad right?

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Now for the simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

3-4 cups of chicken stock

1 cup rice (i used jasmine rice, but arborio is the classic risotto style rice)

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter, plus 2 more tbsp for finishing

1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)

1 8 oz can of mushrooms

1/2 to 1 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions: 

Drop the vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of the butter into a preheated skillet. Add one 8 0z can of mushrooms (make sure to rinse mushrooms thoroughly as canned veggies can get a metallic taste and you don’t want that in your dish). Once the mushrooms are slightly browned and warm all the way through add 1 cup of Jasmine rice and mix in, stirring until all the butter and oil is soaked in. Continue stirring until there is a slightly nutty aroma, once you smell this add in 1/2 cup chardonnay. Continue mixing until it is soaked into the rice. Add 2 tbsp butter. Make sure to stir constantly as you don’t want to burn the rice. Finally add in 3-4 cups of chicken broth one cup at a time. Do this slowly as you want the rice to release their natural starches Make sure the rice soaks in all the broth before adding the next cup. You will want to taste periodically to see when it is al dente. Once it is still a little firm but almost there add in your 1/2 to 1 cup Parmesan cheese to taste.  Stir in the last 1/2 cup broth and let it soak in. Serve immediately.

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