A Warming Fall DishPublished 1:10pm Friday, October 11, 2013
Fall is definitely in the air as I am writing this post today and it’s time to turn to one of my favorite of all comfort foods – Risotto. Risotto has gotten a bad rap along the way with almost everyone I know thinking it’s one of those dishes reserved for a special occasion and is difficult to make. I challenge both of those claims with this easy basic recipe for Mushroom Risotto that can be on your table in less time than it will take you to drive-thru. Pair it with a salad and/or a piece of meat that you’ve grilled or roasted and you’ve got a complete meal fancy enough to serve company, but simple enough to serve weekly.
Risotto also holds well over time for those folks that have multiple dinner hours in their homes, is versatile in terms of the things that can be “stirred in” to change it up and it makes fantastic leftovers — search the web for Risotto Cakes or Arancini (risotto rice balls stuffed with meat or cheese).
6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups diced mushrooms – use portobella, crimini, shitake, white mushrooms or any combination you’d like
1 onion, cut into small dice
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white white
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir the mushrooms until they brown. They will begin to brown after the moisture cooks off.
3. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the olive oil and the diced onion. Cook and stir until onions are soft and translucent.
5. Add rice and stir until each grain of rice is coated with oil.
5. Pour the wine into the rice mixture. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring until liquid is completely absorbed by the rice.
6. Ladle 1 cup of stock into the rice and stir until the liquid is absorbed.
7. Over medium heat, continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time into the pan and allow the rice to absorb the liquid. The entire process will take about 20 minutes.
8. When the rice is creamy and al dente (cooked thru but with a “bite”), take the pan from the heat and add the ½ cup heavy cream and the parmesan cheese.
9. Stir in or top with the browned mushrooms.
To change things up a bit, you can skip the mushrooms altogether and add some roasted butternut squash instead. To go all out vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth. In the spring, peas and asparagus are both winners in a “plain” risotto.
Risotto is a great accompaniment to seafood or fish, especially if you’ve tossed a few fresh herbs into the risotto at the end along with the cheese and cream. I recently had a risotto with leeks and hazelnuts and despite my turning my nose up at the combination, I really did enjoy it. The nuts added an interesting crunch against the creaminess of the rice.