Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mushroom Risotto

This recipe was just great.

I am not a huge fan of butter which is why this risotto recipe piqued my interest. The main ingredient for the base is chicken broth not cream or milk or butter. 
I know a lot of people find my distaste for butter misguided but I really believe that butter's main effect in food is to hide flavor. It too often obfuscates in my opinion instead of augmenting. I also think that it is too heavy and adds artificial weight to recipes. I mean weight in a gravitas sort of way not literal poundage.
Anyway because this recipe doesn't rely on butter I wanted to try my first grown up risotto. It was a big success. Creamy, nuanced, yet full flavored with a clean finish. Butter is called for sautéing the mushrooms but I used olive oil instead.
If this recipe could be improved in any way, it would be to add a little piece of pig. Pancetta, prosciutto, thick-cut bacon, whatever you like cut into small lardons. That's for next time.

This recipe is from Grace Parisi at Food and

5 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Keep warm.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 20 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper.

Meawhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and shallot, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms into the risotto and stir in the cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

pre garnish

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