Meatless Monday: Mushroom Risotto

September 5, 2011

Mushroom risotto is a labor of love; not because the the dish is necessarily hard to make but you have to spend most of the time at the stove stirring the pot.  Risotto should be silky and creamy.  The trick is to add a small amount of liquid at a time and stir until it has evaporated.  This techniques causes the rice grains to release their starch.  This is an elegant recipe that will make whoever is eating it feel special.

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (shiitake, crimini, or portobello)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
 
Directions:
 
In a saucepan, heat the stock over low heat on a back burner.
 
In a large pan, one with straight sides, heat oil over medium low heat.
 
Saute shallots for 1 minute; add mushrooms and saute for about 5 minutes to soften mushrooms.
 
Season with thyme, salt and pepper; saute another minute.
 
Add arborio rice and stir to combine.
 
Pour in white wine, stirring until the wine has reduced by half.
 
Incorporate the stock 1 cup (or less) at a time; stirring constantly as the stock is absorbed.
 
Add the next cup of stock when most of the liquid is absorbed but before the pan is dry.
 
Continue adding stock until the rice is very soft but not mushy (start checking after about 4 cups of stock by tasting a piece of rice).
 
When the rice is fully cooked with a little liquid left, remove the pan from the heat.
 
Stir in the Parmesan cheese and cover the pan. Let the risotto sit for a couple of minutes.
 
Check the seasoning and serve garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

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