Happy Sunday Friends,
I hope you’re all having a great weekend!! Calling for another sunny day today and we’re heading to the Lake 😎 I made a batch of the Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies and I’ll be packing up those babies for our afternoon Pic-Nic!
I thought for today’s recipe, I would share another one of my absolute favourites, obviously Italian, and so easy to make at home, RISOTTO! I feel like so many people don’t attempt Risotto at home because they think it’s time consuming and complicated, well my friends, it’s neither of those things. If you’ve never had this dish before, it’s creamy and cheesy and delicious, you will love it!! The Risotto making process it’s self takes about 18 minutes but with prepping, and depending on which variation your making, it should take under an hour for sure. And remember, cooking should be fun, make an evening out of it, a girl’s night, a date night, a me-time night. Grab a glass of wine (or a bottle, heyy💁🏻) and relaxxx, you can do this!
We’re going with Mushroom Risotto today, one of my favourites! So versatile!! Delicious on its own (perfect for meatless Monday) I make it with chicken broth but you could swap that for veggie broth if you want to make this completely vegetarian. It’s a wonderful side dish to accompany steak, chicken or any protein. We love to top it with seared scallops, so good!
I won’t get into the specifics of each ingredient like I did with the Spring Carbora recipe but it’s the same deal, the fresher the better, and buy the best quality ingredients that you can. I will repeat the Parmigiano-Reggiano part though, never ever the canned stuff, always fresh, pleaseee.
So, Risotto! It’s more of a technique than a recipe really! Once you’ve made it a few times, you won’t really need to follow a recipe! The basic ingredients are: Rice (specifically Arborio), Broth (store bought or homemade), Wine (white in this case), Onions (Shallots), Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), Butter, EEVO, Salt + Pepper. Then in this case we will be adding Mushrooms but if you don’t like Mushrooms, omit them and make the basic Risotto, also very tasty!! I usually make this in my dutch oven but you can also use a “high sided” sauté pan. You need something that has rounded edges in the bottom so when your stirring you can mix everything evenly. I’ll link a few here (and here) so you can see what I’m talking about.
For the Mushrooms:
You can use any mushrooms you like for this recipe! I usually do a mix of whatever they have at the grocery store, Cremini, Oyster, Shiitake, Portabella. You need a total of 8 cups chopped. I know it sounds like a lot, but when they cook down you will have about 2 cups. Cooking them in a combination of butter and EVOO gives a really nice flavour. But before you start cooking, a few important things when it comes to Mushrooms.
1. You should never wash or rinse mushrooms, just damp a paper towel and lightly brush off the dirt. They naturally release a lot of water when they cook so rinsing them would add additional moister and you don’t want that.
2. When browning mushrooms, you don’t want to season them with salt before they have browned. Adding salt in the beginning will make them release excess water and they won’t brown properly. They also tend to absorb fat quickly while they are cooking so just keep a close eye on them and stir frequently. If you see they start sticking to the bottom add a little extra oil. After about 15 minutes, season with salt + pepper. Continue cooking until they are evenly browned. This process should take about 20 minutes, the key is low and slow so they don’t burn. Once they are done, transfer to a dish and set aside.
For the Risotto:
You start off by bringing your broth to a simmer in a medium pot. Keep it warm on low heat. In either a saute pan or dutch oven (you can use the same pan for the mushrooms), saute the shallots in butter and oil. You don’t want to brown them, just cook until they are translucent, it should take a few minutes. Now add the rice to the shallots to toast it slightly before starting to add the liquids. If you usually rinse your rice before cooking it, don’t do it for Risotto. It’s really key because you need that starch to create the creaminess. Once you’ve toasted you rice for a few minutes
add the white wine to deglaze the pan. When it has reduced to about half, set you timer for 18 minutes. Start slowly incorporation the broth by adding about a ladle a time. With a wooden spoon, in a figure 8 movement, stir the rice as the broth incorporates. So, every-time you see the bottom becoming a little dry or that when you slide you spoon down the middle of your pan and the rice stay separated, add more broth. Don’t add too much broth at a time, about ½ cup or so. The process on adding the broth slowly and constantly stirring developpes the starches and creates that creamy texture! Start tasting your Risotto at about 16 minutes to see the doneness. Risotto, like pasta should be served “Al dente”, it should have a slight chew to it. Mine is usually done around 18-19 minutes. If “Al dente” isn’t your thing, cook it a few minutes longer. When it’s done, add the mushrooms (if adding)
and the cheese, stir to combine everything. Optional: you can also add a few TBSP of butter to add extra flavour and creaminess, but it’s not necessary. I don’t usually add it. I also added some finely chopped chives to add a bit of green. Then, serve immediately and enjoy this cheesy deliciousness!!
So, there you go, not so scary right? No need to go to the restaurant, you can enjoy your Risotto at home! Leftovers, well we’ll get to those another day but Arancini (deep fried risotto balls) are quite the treat! Stay tuned 😉
PS: 🍋Minty Bourbon Lemonade🍋 coming this #ThirstyThursday, you’re gonna love this one!
Creamy, Cheesy, Mushroom Risotto! Does it get any better than that? Make this restaurant worthy dish from the comfort of your home.
For the Mushrooms:
- 8 Cups sliced Mushrooms*
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Salt + Pepper
For the Risotto:
- 6 Cups Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)*
- 2 Cups Arborio Rice
- 1 1/2 Cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- 3/4 Cups White Wine*
- 1/2 Cup finely diced shallots ( 1 large or 2 small)
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP EVOO
- Optional: Finely chopped chives
For the Mushrooms:
- In the same pan you will be making the Risotto, over medium-low heat add 2 TBSP Butter and 2 TBSP EVOO.
- Add 8 cups sliced mushrooms and stir frequently. If you see the pan starts getting dry and the mushrooms are sticking to the bottom, add a little additional oil.
- After about 15 minutes when the mushrooms are turning into a nice brown colour, season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
- Transfert the mushrooms to a dish and set aside.
For the Risotto:
- In a medium pot, bring broth to a simmer and keep warm on low heat.
- Over low heat, In the same pan you used for the mushrooms, add 2 TBSP of butter and 2 TBSP EVOO. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. You don’t want to brown the shallots just cook them until translucent.
- Increase the heat to medium-low and add you rice. Toast the rice for about 2 minutes while stirring frequently.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, set the timer for 18 minutes.
- Once the wine has reduced by about half, slowly start incorporating the broth. Using a ladle, adding about 1/2-1 cup at a time and stirring the rice in a figure 8 movment (you don’t have to stir constantly for 18 minutes but every 30-60 seconds). Don’t add to much broth* at once, the progressive additions of broth and constant stirring is what develops the starch and creates that creamy texture. Start tasting your Risotto around 16 minutes for doneness. It should be “Al dente”. Mine usually takes about 18-19 minutes.
- When the rice is cooked to your liking, remove from heat, add the grated cheese and the mushrooms. Stir everything to combine and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately.
*The mushrooms mixture can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Just re-heat the mixture before incorporating into the Risotto.
**You might not use all of the broth. I usually have about a 1 cup left over. It takes about 6-8 cups. I prefer a Risotto that is not too runny, but some people like their Risotto with more of a “soupy” texture. It comes down to personal taste.
***When cooking with wine, you don’t need to splurge by any means but I suggest using a wine that you would enjoy drinking on it’s own.
Keywords: Mushrooms, Risotto, parmigiano-reggiano