Thursday, 23 July 2009

Mushroom Risotto

The one benefit of driving to work is I can range further afield on my lunch hour. In this case, I found the ingredients for this luscious risotto recipe I got from my prairie-boy friend.

I didn't use the chicken and I used shitake, crimini, portobello and button mushrooms. It was great!

The recipe, in his words....

Olive oil
2 Chicken thighs (or not, this one can be meatless)
Mushrooms (go nuts. I use button, shantrell, and oyster)
6 to 10 shallots
1 onion
Green onion
4 tbsp butter ((only butter, not margarine, not unsalted butter, just real full-fat salted butter)
1 cup carnarolli or arborio rice
Chicken stock
Nutty Sherry ie Amontillado
Black pepper
Crushed walnut
Chevre (I confess, I put this on a lot of things that I don't need to)

Heat the olive oil, then add the meat, shallots, and onion. Burn it to the bottom of the pan. This, by the way is why you just can't use cast iron. It doesn't work.
Add the sherry and spices. The smell is going to get you all worked up, but concentrate. Add the mushrooms, butter, green onion.. I'm not going to tell you how much to use, but in large enough quantities nutmeg is an hallucinogenic (bet you didn't know that).
Drop the lid on those little 'shrooms and let them enjoy a short schvitz.
Lift the lid, and add the rice; stir it in and let it sit. You want to shock the rice with the heat. Now get it moving. Keep the rice moving round and round the pan. Add a little stock. It should look like the stock comes up under the rice, but doesn't drown it. Keep it moving.
As the stock cooks off, the consistency of the risotto thickens. Actually it's more like the “viscosity” increases. When it starts to look like molten lava filling the space your stick leaves, add more stock.
You need to sample the rice periodically. When it no longer crunches between your teeth, it's just about ready. Stop adding stock and cook off the excess. Just like before, keep stirring until it's got the viscosity of molten lava.
It's ready to serve. You've done all that work cooking it, so don't blow the presentation. FLAT PLATE ONLY. Yep, that's right, you want to put it in a big comfy bowl, but resist. Resist! Lay it out on a big flat plate. Crumble a little goat cheese on top, and the walnuts and serve only to people that you really like. If you don't like them, undercook the rice, they won't come back.

This recipe doesn't specify any definite amounts for the ingredients. Does that make you nervous when you are cooking?

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