Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mushroom Risotto

I remember the first time I had risotto.  My girlfriends, Rachel and Marcos, and I went to London, Ontario on a weekend trip about 4 years ago.  (If you ever go to London, Ontario - go to the Bellamere winery and try their cranberry wine.  Amazing wine!  I wish they sold it online.... Hint! Hint!)  We went out to lunch and I had been craving mushrooms.  So I ordered the mushroom risotto - not even really knowing what risotto was.  I fell in lust at first sight and love at first taste.  I knew I was hooked!

For me, risotto goes with winter just as much as soups and cookies.  I think it has to do with having to stand over the stove and stir the whole time you are making it, which I couldn't imagine wanting to do in the summer heat.

Also, risotto is a fairly forgiving dish.  You can make it pretty much any way you want - there are a million varations and almost all of them creamy and happy.  I started this one with the basics - mushrooms, onion and garlic.

I rough chopped the mushrooms so it'd be a worthy bite of mushroom.  Chop an onion and two-ish cloves of garlic.  P.S.  I hate chopping onions - it affects me so powerfully.  However, I've mastered the art of chopping an onion quickly and I use a sharp, sharp knife.  (I generally sharpen my knife every time I cut the onion.)  The freezing an onion for a bit or turning on the stove does nothing to help prevent my eyes from burning!

I sauted half the garlic with the mushrooms in some extra virgin olive oil.

Set those aside.  You don't want to cook the mushrooms in the risotto because it'll tear up your mushrooms.  (And you wouldn't be able to pick off little pieces as you were making the rest of it!)

Saute the onions and remaining garlic until soft.

Throw in a handful or two of aborio rice.  I usually let it brown a little bit in the pan for just a few moments.  It's a habit from making tons of Rice-A-Roni as a kid.

Usually, I throw in some white wine or champagne next.  However, I was making this for breakfast and didn't have any booze handy.  (I'm not always the biggest fan of breakfast foods; however, I can eat pretty much anything when I first wake up in the morning.)  So I started with about a quarter of a cup of chicken broth.  (You are supposed to warm up the chicken broth before adding it to the risotto.  Again, this was 8 a.m. and I just didn't have the energy for that.)

After you add in the broth, stir continuously.  Add in about a quarter of a cup at a time and stir more.  Repeat. 

Repeat again.  Keep doing this until the risotto is creamy.

Add back in the mushrroms and a handful of Parmesan cheese.  (I was out but used some Piave cheese that I had on hand.  It's similar to Parmesan cheese and has been on sale a lot at Whole Foods recently.)

Add more Parmesan cheese when serving.  This was a great breakfast - but if you are more of an egg or waffle fan, it'd great any time of day.  

1 comment:

  1. Funnily enough the first risotto I ever had was mushroom risotto. Yours looks surely satisfying for a snowy evening. Yep its snowing here.