September 27, 2012

my risotto brings all the boys to the yard (hopefully)

"This is one of my favorite recipes to make with a new everytime" - Peter Maki Jr (family friend/love dr)
On a vacation in chilly Monterey Bay this summer, Peter whipped up his famous risotto for the group. I was skeptical, until I tasted it and had to admit that I too, would be starry-eyed over such a dish. I filed it away for a fall night in chicago.

Last weekend, a freezing morning inspired me to attempt risotto. River Valley Kitchens has a stand at the market with an incredible selection of fresh & dry mushrooms, among others. I asked the 'risotto expert' and she recommended oyster mushrooms & dry porcinis.

I decided to test this on two men who didn't need to be won over, but whom I did hope would fix my leaky sink afterwards. I got the basic gist from various recipes, then created mine to be vegetarian & mushroom focused.

River Valley Kitchens Mushroom & Pea Risotto (makes 2 heaping portions)

1 bunch fresh oyster mushrooms (or other variety of choice), torn into small pieces, 4 - 6 oz total
1 1/4 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms ground up
1/2 c thawed or fresh peas (thank you to brian for this suggestion)
1 c carnaroli rice (or arborio)
6 - 7 c vegetable stock
1/4 c shallot, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 c dry white wine
3/4 c freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, smallest grate size, plus extra for topping off servings
4 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat skillet over med-high and add 1 1/2 tbsp butter; saute fresh mushrooms, garlic and one tsp salt until slightly browned. Set aside.

2. Bring stock to a simmer in a large pot; while this is happening, heat separate skillet over med-high, add 2 tbsp butter, olive oil, shallots & dried mushroom powder. Saute 2 - 3 min then add rice and stir frequently, about 2 minutes to crisp rice.

3. Add white wine and stir until evaporated, around 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth time, allowing rice to absorb completely before adding next cup. Stir constantly so that rice does not burn. Continue this process, until 5 cups have been absorbed completely. 

4. Add 1/2 cup broth, mushrooms, peas, parmegiano-reggiano cheese, and final tablespoon of butter. Then add last 1/2 cup broth & season with salt & pepper to taste. You may need more or less broth at this point, depending on consistency. Risotto should be creamy & thick (all in all, this process took around 35 - 40 minutes). Serve immediately, finishing with a generous sprinkle of cheese on top.

***Risotto is time-consuming & can be to accept that it will probably be different each time & go with the flow (when in doubt, it's impossible to go wrong with extra cheese & butter). That's why I recommend opening that bottle of wine upon completion!

Photos © Brian Sorg

No meal is complete without, so we paired a spooky syrah blend by twisted oak wineries recommended by the sommelier of the family, my dad. Cheers ;)

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a perfect pairing! I'm going to have to try this myself - jeff, twisted oak winery