Wild Mushroom Risotto
Winter can be a rough time. The white fluffy snow is magical until winter goes on for months and months. Or until you slip and fall on the ice…twice… in a 30 second period. There are a few things that can keep my winter blues at bay. One of them is using the cold as an excuse to stay inside for most of the day and cook. Over winter break, Wilson came to visit me in Atlanta, and we took it as an opportunity to cook in a way that we hadn’t gotten to in quite a while. One night we decided to make Rosemary Roast Chicken with mushroom risotto. It’s also worth noting that Wilson became a little obsessed with mushroom risotto after his mom had made it a few times over Thanksgiving break.
I will never know if our risotto was as good as what Wilson’s mom makes, but it is very very good.
This risotto takes quite a bit of time and vigilance, but all of the effort pays big dividends in flavor. Butter, white wine, Arborio rice, and a mixture of mushrooms combine beautifully – all of the flavors marry into a complexity of textures and flavors. Wilson and I took turns stirring the risotto while sipping on wine, and occasionally tasting and testing our masterpiece. Risotto, I think is best made when you really want to enjoy the process of cooking. The end product is divine, but there is also a real joy in reveling in the luxury of smells and tastes with someone you love. Cooking is the perfect way to pass the winter, and risotto the perfect thing to cook.
Wild Mushroom Risotto
From Bon Appetit Magazine
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 of mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Sauté mushrooms until tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl. Working in 3 more batches, repeat with 6 tablespoons butter, remaining mushrooms, and salt and pepper.
Bring 7 cups chicken broth to simmer in medium saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and increase heat to medium. Stir until edges of rice begin to look translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add white wine and vermouth and stir until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup warm chicken broth; stir until almost all broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is halfway cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in sautéed mushrooms. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender but still firm to bite and risotto is creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, if using. Transfer risotto to serving bowl. Pass additional Parmesan cheese alongside, if desired.