Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mushroom Risotto

This is definitely one of my top 10 favorite meals. (Not that I have a top 10- but you get the idea!) I was going to make Rice a Roni last night (ooh, special) but got a crazy whim and started stirring. mmmmm..... it was so good.
I don't have a recipe- but here's how it goes, for dinner for 2:

*a little less than a cup of Arborio rice. (no, you can't use another kind)
*around a tablespoon of butter
*about 4 cups of chicken stock- I prefer homemade but a couple-a cans'll do ya.
*about a cup or so of white wine
*around a tablespoon or two of fresh Parmesan cheese
*a quarter or half pound of mushrooms depending on how mushroomy you're feeling- I like crimini or just plain white button mushrooms, portabellas are also great. Last night I used almost a half pound. Mmm... mushrooms.

Get out two pots, a small and a medium. Heat the chicken broth in the small one and the butter in the big one.
When the butter stops foaming add the rice and stir until it turns white (well, it's already white, but MORE white) and starts to brown a tad around the edges
add about a cup of the chicken broth and 1/4 cup of wine and stir your heart out
keep adding more broth and wine, alternating, and stir, stir, stir. (oh, and use a wooden spoon.)
The trick is to add more liquid when the liquid is almost gone- you should be able to scrape a path on the bottom of the pot.
After a little bit the rice will start to get tender but a little crunch. (Timing? I don't know. 15, 30 minutes? taste test!) You wouldn't want to eat it yet, too crunchy. Yuck. Go ahead and dump in the mushrooms. Stirring, stirring, stirring.....
keep adding liquid as necessary
when it gets soooo tender and starts to kind of look gummy instead of soupy, add some Parmesan and stir some more, then anything else you feel like it needs. (salt? pepper? basil? chicken? I dunno. depends on the appetite. Last night I added nothing. It was perfect!)

My favorite thing about risotto is the versatility! You could throw anything from your fridge in there, within reason. ;) I can't seem to stray from mushroom, though. It's my all time fave.

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