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July 2018
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Risotto with Two Kinds of Mushrooms

Risotto is one of those dishes that seem to intimidate people because it is viewed as labor intensive, in all reality it is quite simple to make and there are endless ways to make it.  Just grab fresh and wonderful produce at the store or farmers market and get cooking!

This risotto is pretty basic and works well as a base for many other ones so feel free to experiment with it and comment with your own creations below.  Oh, this was my first attempt at it so if I can do it you can too!

Mushroom risotto

I got some advice from my “boss” out at the MN Renaissance Festival, Mark, owner of Catskill Mountain Moccasins.  He is an amazing and passionate cook.  I also did a lot of research on-line and found a ton of techniques.  Most important thing to keep in mind is us good rice such as Carnaroli, Maratelli or Arborio rice all are medium grain with high starch content, this makes the risotto really creamy and wonderful and stir baby stir.

  • 1 large or 2 small shallots diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • ½ cup dried porchini mushrooms rehydrated and roughly chopped (reserve ¼ cup of liquid)
  • 2 cup of cramini mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups of risotto quality rice (I used Carnaroli)
  • 6 cups. stock (low sodium chicken or vegetable) heated to a low simmer
  • ¼ cup dry white wine or light lager beer
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbls. butter
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tbls. olive oil divided
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

cooking the mushrooms

To start, put dry porchini mushrooms in a few cups of warm water for 30 minutes to rehydrate.  Put stock in a pot with bay leaf and bring to simmer.  Mean while in a heavy frying pan and a little olive oil and add shallots and garlic and cook until shallots are translucent 4-6 minutes.  Add cramini mushrooms for 4 minutes then add porchini mushrooms, cook until cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.  Add more oil to the pan and add rice, stir to coat rice with oil and toast until rice is warmed through then add the reserved mushroom water and wine/beer and cook until liquid is absorbed then start ladling in the hot stock ½ to ¾ cup at a time until it is also absorbed, stirring regularly, then add more liquid, repeat until rice is creamy and still has a little bite (al dante) to it.  Add the shallot and mushroom mix back in stir then add the butter and parmesan cheese in add fresh cracked pepper to taste, cook until cheese and butter melts.  Serve as a first course or as a full meal!

cooking the rice

Notes: Risotto can be sweet or savory, use fresh stock for best flavor also add herbs to the stock for a boost in flavor and whatever you do, don’t rush.

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