Introduction: Mushroom Risotto
Risotto, traditionally an northern Italian dish of short grained rice cooked in stock, complimented with butter and white wine to finish this dish. Risotto often is cooked until it has a wonderfully luxurious creamy texture. this versatile dish can have almost anything in it from the simplistic pancetta with garden peas to the bitter sweet Balsamic strawberries risotto. Today however i have opted to use a more traditional mushroom risotto recipe also know as "Risotto ai funghi"
This very simple dish is not only vegetarian but Gluten free, additionally with the substitution of the butter for oil this dish would also be diary free. On top of all of that it tastes absolutely fantastic. For this recipe you really need to use a short grain risotto rice like Arborio or for an even higher quality use varieties of rice like Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. The longer grains which tend to be cheaper just wont have enough starch and your dish wont come together in the same way.
500g Fresh mushrooms
1 Liter of vegetable or Chicken stock
2 onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g risotto rice
200ml white wine
handful parsley leaves, chopped
80g Parmesan, freshly grated
Garnish Garlic Chives or Thyme sprigs
Step 1: Prep the Vegetables
It easiest to prep your vegetables first so i would recommend starting there.
Picture 1. Finely dice up the garlic until it is at almost puree consistency. ( i tend to use a lot more garlic in my dishes as i am rather fond of its rich flavor, feel free to use slightly less if you wish.)
Picture 2. Dice the onions as well, they do not need to be the same size as the garlic, as it has a weaker flavour compared to the garlic, but it is important to have them at a relatively uniform size so that they can all cook evenly.
Picture 3. Roughly chop up the parsley, you don't need to worry about them being too large as the parsley will wilt in the hot pan. The onions garlic and parsley should now all be removed to a bowl, the mushrooms will go in the pan slightly later then the garlic and onions so its a good idea to keep them separate at this point.
Picture 4. Slice up the mushrooms in to equal sized pieces and move to a separate bowl.
Step 2: Saute the Vegetables.
The fun bit. important parts to remember at this stage are that you want to brown the butter ever so slightly before you put in the onions and garlic, Browned butter gives off this aromatic nutty flavour that will really help the dish. Also to ensure that your onions and garlic and translucent before adding the mushrooms.
Picture 1. Put the butter in a pan large enough to accommodate all other ingredients.
Picture 2. Allow the butter to melt, the butter should turn slight brown before you add in the next ingredients.
Picture 3. Time to add in the onions and garlic
Picture 4. you can add in your chopped parsley at the same time as your onions and garlic.
Picture 5. It is important to allow the onions and garlic to soften and turn translucent before you add in the mushrooms.
Step 3: Adding the Rice and Wine/Stock.
You want the the rice to saute very quickly in the hot butter before you add in the stock and the white wine. the rice is ready for the liquid ingredients once the points of the rice turn clear and the centre still has its original colour.
Picture 1. Once the vegetables from the last stages have sweated down and reduced in size you are ready to add the rice.
Picture 2. Add the rice and ensure that it is equally mixed in all and coated in the butter. you will need to saute it slightly before adding the stock and wine.
Picture 3. Once the rice is ready you can start slowing adding the wine and stock, its easiest to do this in parts.
Step 4: Simmer.
Slowly adding the stock until you have incorporated you will need to add more stock at each stage and give the rice time to cook and absorb the moisture.
Picture 1-3. Slowly add the stock and wine in stages until it has all be incorporated.
Step 5: Thank You for Reading.
I have chosen to garnish my dish with a small amount of Garlic Chives in the centre or fresh thyme sprigs, upon this i have added a dusting of finely grated Parmesan and healthy amount of cracked black pepper and sea salt. Additionally i decided to sprinkle a small amount of paprika over the top to give this dish a dash of colour.
This dish can be stored but i wouldn't recommend reheating it and eating it again as risotto. However i would recommend using the rice to make arancini. Aranacini is a dish comprised of cooked risotto wrapped around a small piece of mozzarella breaded and then deep fat fried. I will likely cover it in a future recipe. Cooked rice in particular is very difficult to store and likely to cause food poisoning due to the gaps in between the rice grains being perfect for bacteria growth.
Thank you for reading , if you have any comments or queries please contact me and I will try to answer them as soon as possible.