Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mushroom Risotto

A risotto is one of those dishes that I've always wanted to try making but just put off for a few reasons.  First of all, I'm not a huge rice lover and my kids pretty much hate the stuff.  Secondly, I have to admit that I've screwed up more than my fair share of rice dishes -- but we won't get into that. 

Finally, I've always associated making a risotto with being called a 'stupid fat cow'.  Say what?  Yes, you read that right.  A dumb, large bovine.  See, I love to watch 'Hell's Kitchen'.  You know that reality show where a handful of unknown chefs are put into a competition to see who Chef Extraordinaire Gordon Ramsay will pick to run their own restaurant?  There's something about Gordon Ramsay and the way he can scream and curse at a bunch of chefs while they're whipping up meals that just bakes my cupcakes.  BUT, one of the dishes that regularly gets screwed up is the mighty risotto.  If a bunch of culinary school trained chefs can't make a decent risotto what hope do I have?  Not a gelato's chance in hell ... or so I thought.

Well, last week I finally gave it a go.  Armed with Brad at my side to give me the time to do the risotto (it's a time consuming dish) I did it!  And boy was it good!  Risotto, in my 'vast' experience, isn't hard.  You just have to get all your ingredients ready beforehand and then babysit it the entire cooking time.  I'm talking 30+ minutes of stirring.  Don't think that you can be mixing up a salad or grilling up some meat as you're doing a risotto.  Risotto is a diva and needs your utmost attention.

We were very impressed with this dish.  Not only did it look perty but it had loads of flavour and was full of my beloved mushrooms.  Topped with fresh chives from my garden, it was a wonderful meal.  We paired it with some grilled chicken breasts but I think next time we'll just have the risotto with a small salad or toss some asparagus on the grill instead.  It is definitely a filling meal!

Do any of you have food prep phobias?  What are some of the dishes that you're put off trying?  I cannot be the only one!

Yield: 6-8 servings (side dish)

6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil, divided
3/4 lb portobello mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 lb white button mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 shallots, finely diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Warm chicken broth in a large saucepan over low heat.  {Keeping the broth warm will help to maintain the temperature of your risotto ensuring that it continues to cook as you add in the broth.  Don't skip this step!}

In a large, deep skillet heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat.  Stir in the mushrooms and cook until soft -- about 3 minutes.  Remove mushrooms and their liquid from the skillet and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet that you just used for the mushrooms.  Add shallots and cook for 1 minute.  Add rice, stirring to coat the rice with the oil, and cook for 2 minutes.  When the rice appears pale and golden in colour pour in the white wine, stirring constantly until the wine is absorbed by the rice. 

Add 1/2 cup of the warmed broth to the rice and stir until the broth is absorbed.  Continue adding 1/2 cup of the chicken broth at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente -- approximately 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in mushrooms and their liquid, butter, chives and Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper according to your tastes.  Serve immediately.               

Inspired by: "Gourmet Mushroom Risotto" from

Linked to: A Little Nosh 

1 comment:

Trish - Mom On Timeout said...

Love a good risotto! This looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

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