Unfortunately for me, I think there are more mushroom-haters out there than mushroom-lovers, which makes it difficult when I want to make something with them in when cooking for others. I remember feeling so lucky that one of my college roommates was a mushroom-lover, too -- we could have them on our pizza! It's the small things.
It's interesting to me how many types there are -- and I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about them, besides that they taste good. When prepping for this weekend's cooking adventure, I was at Byerly's buying the ones I wanted. Did you know that 1 ounce of dried Morel mushrooms cost $19.99 at the store? Whoa. When you can get them for free in the woods (if, of course, you're lucky enough to find them)??? Needless to say, there are no Morels in today's dish.
5 c. chicken broth
1 c. dry white wine (i.e. chardonnay or sauvignon blanc)
1 c. chopped onions
3-4 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp. butter
2 c. aborio rice
3/4 - 1 c. mushrooms (mix of dried porcini / fresh crimini and shitake)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
Soak dried porcini mushrooms in hot water for 25 minutes. Save 1 c. of broth from this to use later.
Sautee all mushrooms in a bit of olive oil until soft; set aside.
Heat chicken broth, wine, and porcini mushroom broth in a medium saucepan (2.5 qt.) to a simmer - no need to boil. At the same time, using a large, heavy saucepan, add butter, chopped onions, garlic, and pinch of salt until onions are translucent -- do not brown. Add aborio rice to the butter mixture, stirring until the edges of the rice are translucent.
Using a ladle, add enough of the broth mixture to cover the rice and simmer until the rice soaks up all of the liquid. Once the rice has soaked up the broth, use the ladle to again add enough broth until the rice mixture is covered. Repeat until broth is gone and rice is soft and tender.
Add the mushrooms and Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese melts. Serve hot with a bit of Parmesan cheese on top.
- You can use any mushrooms you want -- a friend of mine also recommended portabella. If you don't use dried porcini in the recipe, just replace the 1 c. of porcini broth with another cup of chicken broth.
- Aborio rice is an Italian rice that is very starchy, which makes the risotto creamy -- no need to add additional cream. I'm not sure how this would work with regular rice, so make sure you use aborio.
- Because garlic cloves come in different sizes, use what you're comfortable with. I used 2 large cloves and 2 small ones -- and that was plenty of garlic, but not too much for me.
- Hate mushrooms? make this with asparagus, butternut squash, or something else!
Because it's a heavy dish, I served it with just a side of sweet potatoes cooked in a bit of olive oil. ... and it was a vegetarian meal -- I didn't miss the meat. It would also be good with steamed asparagus. Yum! If you need to have meat, though, I think it would go well with chicken.
Enjoy! As always, let me know if you have a recommendation for me to try.