|Pea and Mushroom-palooza Risotto|
He came back with a pint of Crimini, Oyster, and fresh Shitake. We didn't eat them in one go. That would be a tad much even for a D craving. We had half tonight with the Risotto and the other tomorrow with some Gnocchi...mmmmmm
Pea and Mushroom-palooza Risotto
1 c Crimini/Brown Mushrooms
1 c Oyster Mushrooms
1 c Shitake Mushrooms
3-4 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 T fresh Sage, chopped
1 c Arborio Rice
1/2 c Peas (thawed frozen are fine, I would not recommend tinned, blech)
1 Shallot, minced
1 c Dry White Wine
1.5 l Vegetable Broth
1/4 c (3 T) Butter
1/2 c fresh Parmesan, grated
1/2 c Olive Oil (give or take a few Tablespoon)
Salt (watch the Salt. Don't over season. Check near the end if you have Salt in your broth and the Parmesan is salty as well)
Brush the Mushrooms clean and trim the stems. I would not recommend washing them because they'll soak up the water and make browning quite difficult. If you do wash, pat dry, thoroughly.
In a large skillet, heat some Olive Oil on high (do not use Extra Virgin, it's a waste of it), enough to coat the pan when heated. Add the mushrooms in batches, just enough to mostly fill the skillet in 1 layer but room enough to breath. If you crowd the pan, you will just steam them. Leave some dancing room. Do not start moving them right away. Let them mingle for a 1 minute, then move, sit then move. Too much moving will steam not brown. Half way through, add some of the Herbs. Parcel enough the Herbs out to go in with each batch of Mushrooms. After 3-5 minutes, set aside on a plate and do the next batch.
In a sauce pan, bring the Broth to a boil. I use an instant, Organic, no sodium Vegetable broth I bought at Whole Foods. I steer well clear of all broths or cubes who's first ingredient is Salt and in the liquid form, second after Water. You can use Chicken Both if you prefer. I used to love the distilled, concentrated liquid instant broth they sell in the UK but I can't find it here.
When all the Mushrooms are done, heat some Olive Oil in the same empty skillet on Medium. Move to using a Wooden Spoon if you haven't already. Add the shallot. Soften for 1 minute. Add the Rice and move around a lot to coat with the Oil. Add a splash more if you think the pan looks dry. 1 minute.
Add the White Wine in a large circle sweeping the pan. Stir the rice. When most of the liquid is absorbed, add 1 ladle of Broth, stirring constantly. It's a labour of love, accept it. Adjust the heat as needed. Other than when you first added the wine, you should not see any violent bubbling. No bubbling at all really if you're stirring. The heat and speed I like is where the steam is quite actively wafting off the pan and the mixture looks like it's about to bubble but the stirring prevents it. On my stove that's a 4.5-5.
When the liquid is mostly absorbed, i.e. you can draw a mote down the centre of the pan with the spoon and it does not close up on itself immediately or very fast. Add another ladel and continue. It should take about 30-35 minutes. Test the rice at about the 30 minute mark. You should cook to your taste. I do like it on the softer side than D but not mushy. D likes it on the edge of hard in the centre. I do not like carving it out of my molars. You can add more broth or water to your saucepan as you feel you need.
At 1 ladel remaining, return the Mushrooms and add the Peas to the pan. Stir gently because you don't want to 'dirty' the rice too much from the Mushroom bits. Add the Parmesan and incorporate, gently. Check the seasoning. Add the final ladel and stir once or twice. D doesn't stir the last ladel at all. Add the Butter in little pieces over top. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
Serve with more fresh Parmesan and Truffle Oil if you wish. Some cracked Black Pepper to eater's taste.