Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 8th - Portobello Mushroom Risotto

Mmmmm I feel like it's been forever that we haven't had our staples. Green Curry and Risotto....

We bought a basket full of mushrooms at TnT yesterday when we bought the lobster. TnT is a great place for vegetable prices on several things, not all things. 2 to be sure are mushrooms and eggplant. I don't even know if I need an eggplant but I will always pick one up if I'm doing groceries there. They're like a third of the price at the Whole Foods. The mushrooms too, the King Oyster was easily a half to a third. We bought a stack of Portobello (confession: we bought them in the clearance area for 1 dollar. I mean we weren't planning on keeping them for more than a day). Also we picked up some shitake. Shitake are surprisingly fantastic for risotto and other non-asian application because they are very mushroomy. I mean, seriously, don't waste time on white button. They don't taste of anything. I think the only time they taste nice is when they're pan fried as a side in butter.

Portobello and Asparagus Mushroom Risotto

1 c risotto rice (2 people with a lunch portion)
4 portobello mushrooms, stem removed and gills cleaned out, sliced
5 shitake mushrooms, fresh brushed and sliced
8 spears of BBQ'd asparagus (left over from yesterday)
butter (we're using the left over herb butter from yesterday)
olive oil
1 shallot
thyme, fresh a few sprigs
rosemary, 1 sprig
1 c dry white wine (we had an unoaked chardonnay in the fridge)
1-2 l of veggie stock or chicken broth

In a small sauce pan, pour all the broth and bring to a boil then turn down to a bare simmer (what does that mean? small ginger ale sized bubbles that gather on the bottom of the pan and occasionally break to the surface)

In butter and olive oil in a large pan, fry all the mushrooms until browned and considerably shrunk. Set aside. We normally set aside on one of the dinner plates, normally mine because I like to retain all the flavoury goodness :-)

Add olive oil to the same pan (don't clean) and on medium-low heat, fry the minced shallot until softened but not browned.

Add the rice. Add more olive oil if needed. You need all the rice coated with oil so that it glistens. Cook until slightly nutty... or 5 minutes, stirring. Season with salt and pepper, perhaps a 1 t each to begin with.

Add the wine by pouring in circles over the pan. Some people who don't like to measure will say that a coup is a steady stream twice around the pan. Stir.

Always stir. With a wide wooden spoon. Risotto is all about stirring. Being involved with your food. Stirring will encourage the starches on the arborio rice to come off and make that creaminess known in risotto. Heat should be medium low (1-10, about a 5 or 6)

When most of the liquid is absorbed so that when you stroke the middle of the pan with a wooden spoon, it doesn't immediately gather back up, add a ladel of broth (about 1/2 cup). Stir and repeat. The whole process should take about 35-40 minutes.

When you get close to the time mark, taste the risotto to test the texture. I like it softer than D. D likes it a bit 'crunchy'. If you don't think you have enough liquid left, just add more water to the pot or dissolve another veggie stock cube or add a dash of wine. No panic. Season as needed. At about 20 minutes add the veg, in this case, mushrooms back.

When you are 1 ladel away, turn the heat off, add the last ladel and some dobs of butter over the surface and cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and freshly grate 1/2 c -3/4 c parmesan. Serve with more on top on the dish. MMMMMM

I have photos but D's piece of crap IBM laptop is slow on photos so I'll add them later. We had a gorgeous Hillside Estate Gamay Noir Old Vines 2007. It was wonderful!

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