Risotto is my favorite way to eat carbs. It will always be my favorite way to eat carbs. It's creamy, savory and unctuous. It has all the flavors I crave in a dish, and it accompanies fish, chicken or meat perfectly (depending on the type of risotto). But who am I kidding, I can eat risotto as a dish all on its own.
Risotto is not complicated. It's not a food you have to order at a restaurant. The only reason it seems daunting is because one person has to stand by the stove while it cooks, but it only takes twenty minutes. It's worth every moment and every penny to make this dish.
Usually, mushroom risotto is made with porcini mushrooms, but because I wanted to make a frugal weeknight dinner, I substituted dried shiitake mushrooms for the porcini. It still has as earthy richness, but without the price.
This recipe makes about 6 main course servings. I usually cut the recipe in half because I use it as a side dish for fewer people.
- about 9 cups chicken stock
- 1 oz dried shiitake mushroom caps
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- ½ lb sliced button mushrooms
- ½ lb assorted wild mushrooms (I used enoki, miatake, and oyster mushrooms)
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh minced thyme
- 3 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine (not Chardonnay) at room temp
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring the stock to a simmer Remove from heat and add the dried shiitake mushrooms, soaking for 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms, squeezing out the liquid. Chop and set aside. Turn the stock back on to a very low simmer.
- In a heavy saucepan, sautee garlic in olive oil on medium heat. Add all the fresh mushrooms and cook until they are softened. Add the chopped shitake, parsley, thyme and half a cup of the simmering stock. Cook until thickened, then remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add rie to the pan and stir over medium heat until each grain is translucent with a white dot in the center. Add the wine and stir until that is completely absorbed.
- Add the simmering stock a ladle full at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. When stock is almost completely absorbed, add the next ladle of stock. Repeat, saving ¼ cup until the end.
- When the rice is al dente (tender, but slightly firm and creamy) Add mushrooms and stir to reheat (about 3 minutes) Remove from heat. Add butter and remaining stock. Season to taste and eat immediately.