A few days ago, while 'zapping' through all the TV channels (I was bored and waiting for Emil to come home from an evening shift), I stumbled upon a cooking program. I stopped, as I always do when I see food, and became increasingly interested as the blond woman on TV kept working on something that turned out to be a Mushroom Risotto.
I had never made Risotto before but it was something I really wanted to try. Unfortunately my many years of following the american cooking show 'Top Chef' made me be afraid of it, because it's something that normally goes wrong for the chefs. It seemed to be just one step below the difficulty of making a soufflé. In any case and even though I can't say I like mushrooms, I decided it was time to give it a try.
The recipe on TV was for a risotto made in the oven, but I decided to go the traditional way and plant myself in front of the stove for about 30 minutes, while patiently adding water and wondering if the thing would end up edible or not. And by the way, a piece advice, do it at night or when the temperature drops.
To my big surprise, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be and it was absolutely delicious. Gooey heaven in a bowl! Oh, and a small warning for those of weak stomach (like my Danish man...sigh) this is a very rich dish.
for 3 generous servings.
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
1 full cup arborio rice or other risotto rice
1/3 cup white wine
5-6 cups chicken stock
mushrooms of your choice (shiitake, chanterelle, I'm really not a fan of mushrooms so I have no idea which type I used), cleaned and chopped
1 tea spoon white truffle oil (not absolutely necessary)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tb spoon Mascarpone (not absolutely necessary)
fresh chives (again you can use another fresh herb of your preference, like parsley)
Start by chopping the onion and the garlic, and boiling the water where you will dissolve 2 cubes of chicken stock.
Melt 2 table spoons of butter in a big sauce pan (it's good to have a big flat surface while making risotto) and add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
Add the risotto and stir to combine.
Add the white wine and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
With the stove on a medium temperature, start adding the simmering stock, just enough to cover the risotto each time, and stirring frequently. Repeat every time the water has almost evaporated until you run out of stock (I think I did it 5 or 6 times). It takes around 25 minutes. You may need more water, depending on the temperature of your stove and how quickly the water evaporates, so it's a good idea to have some extra boiling water on the side and taste the risotto when you've added the last of the stock to see if it needs more water or not. It needs to taste cooked, if it's raw you'll know it. You may want to add a bit more salt and pepper at this time.
During this process, because you need to wait a few minutes before adding more water, chop the mushrooms and sauté them in a table spoon of butter and the white truffle oil. The truffle oil wasn't part of the original recipe but I love the flavour and always find an excuse to cook with it. It should take only 5 minutes, you don't want them too mushy. Add the juice the mushrooms released while cooking to the risotto, and set the mushrooms aside.
When the risotto is cooked, take it off the heat and add the Parmesan cheese and a spoon of Mascarpone. Mix it well, you don't need to be afraid to stir it because the more gooey it gets, the better. And finally, add the mushrooms and the chives. You can garnish it with a few extra shaves of Parmesan. Serve immediately.
all photos by me
Hope you like it!