I have been wooed...by mushrooms. I haven't pinpointed the exact day it happened. Maybe it was the Italian class I assisted where the chef made broiled mushrooms and garlic. Or it could have been the portobello mushroom sandwich with red pepper aoili. Probably it was a combination of several experiences over the past few months. Whatever the case, I am having a love affair with all kinds of mushrooms.
As I was grocery shopping for the risotto ingredients, I felt like such a rebel entering the mushroom section. Foraging for mushrooms (at the grocery or in the woods) is a very novel idea for me. If I were in a movie, there would have been a spotlight on me in the corner of QFC. And maybe the Diana Ross song "I'm coming out" playing. Possibly a sparkling disco ball lowered onto the produce scale. You get the idea...mushrooms have become a big deal.
So I carefully picked out a good sized bag of shiitakes. I used half the amount the recipe called for because they were pretty expensive. But feel free to use half shiitake and half crimini or other types. This was one of the dishes I made at the GDC event mentioned in the last post. So I doubled the recipe.
The original recipe calls for peas and a small amount of cheese. I wanted to go a little more purist, so I took out the peas and doubled the cheese. I didn't want to disappoint the girls. I also have a ton of dried thyme so that is what went into the recipe. But if you would prefer fresh use that. All in all you really can't go wrong with rice, cheese, MUSHROOMS and garlic. Toss in any other vegetables for something extra. Chopped asparagus or peas would be nice.
Shiitake Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from Cooking Light
Yields 8 servings
8 cups low sodium broth (chicken or veg)
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat broth to a simmer. Cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add half of the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add rice and cook for a few minutes, continually stirring.
Add wine and cook for 2 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth and cook for 2 minutes or until the liquid absorbs. Continue this last step until all the broth is used and absorbed.
In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic, half of the thyme and saute for a minute. Turn off heat and set aside.
Stir the mushrooms, remaining thyme, cheese and pepper into the risotto. Turn off heat and stir until all the cheese and spices have integrated. Serve immediately as a main course or accompanying a vegetable or meat dish. Reheats nicely the next day.