Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wild Mushroom Risotto!!

Our friends Kendra, and Jay came over for dinner so I wanted to make a meal that I could "semi-prepare" ahead of time so I could hang out with my guests when they came.  The one thing with Risotto is that you have to be very patient and to keep it on low heat.  I generally take much longer cooking mine (by keeping it on low heat) and it makes it extra flavorful and creamy.  This risotto was A-ma-zing!  I could have this at least one day a week, if not more.  I am not sure if people think that it is too hard to make, but I will reassure you that it is not!  Just follow the directions and make sure that you stay on top of it!  Also, people may think that it is expensive to make???  Because if you order it at a restaurant it is...expensive.  The reason why it is so expensive, is because of the time it takes...again, be patient it will be well worth your time.  Plus your guests will rave about it!  So go on, treat your guests to an amazing meal!!  They (and you) deserve it!!!

Wild Mushroom Risotto
1-ounce dried oyster mushrooms
2 8 oz. fresh porcini or cremini mushrooms- chopped into thick slices
4-6 cups chicken stock ( I used Rachael Ray)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces pancetta, diced
3 shallots, chopped
1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 oz. Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Boil the dried oyster shrooms in a sauce pan in 2 cups of water for 20 min. Scoop the oyster shrooms from the water with a slotted spoon, reserving the liquid. You should have 2 cups; if not, add water to make 2 cups. Drain the oyster shrooms and rinse once more. If some of the mushrooms are large, cut into 2 or 3 pieces. Pour the mushroom liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel, discarding the gritty solids. Set the mushrooms and the liquid aside separately. Meanwhile, remove and discard the stems of the porcini and rub any dirt off the caps with a damp paper towel. Don't rinse them! Slice thickly and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock with the 2 cups of reserved mushroom liquid and bring to a simmer.
In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the oyster shrooms and porcini and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of the chicken stock mixture to the rice plus the saffron, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock mixture, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry before adding more of the stock mixture. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes total. When done, the risotto should be thick and creamy and not at all dry. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese. 
Brussel Sprouts
I cut them in half and place them in a large saute pan with olive oil and lemon juice (med-high heat).  Season with salt and pepper.  Stirring them occasionally.  You want them naturally caramelize and not too over cooked.
The risotto was so flavorful and creamy!  Mark said it was the BEST risotto that he's ever had!  And we've gone to some 5 star restaurants, so that made me feel really good!  But, I thought it was a-ma-zing!
The Brussel sprouts are so simple and easy to make, but they are full of flavor when you add the lemon juice.

1 comment:

  1. The Brussel sprouts were such a surprising flavor. The amount of lemon used was perfect. I'm still not in a place to talk about how good the risotto was.