Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is a rather contemplative meal to make.  The systemized, rhythmic stirring makes it almost meditative.  It is not a meal that can be rushed.

When I make risotto I like to have the rice going in one pot.  A second pot or pan is reserved for whatever meat or veg will be added at the end of cooking.  

To begin the garlic and shallot is sautéed until soft.  Deglaze with white wine.  Allow to reduce.  Add the rice.  Stir to combine with the aromatics allowing the rice to toast lightly.  Add the warm stock in intervals, stirring to slowly release the starch from the rice kernels.  Once the rice is al dente cold cubes of butter are incorporated one at at time, followed by grated cheese.  I switch between pecorino and parmigiana depending on the other ingredients in the dish.  Tonight pecorino was on hand.  Over the pot and allow the rice to rest off the heat for ten minutes.  Stir before serving adding a bit more stock to loosen the consistency if necessary.

Separately the mushrooms were sautéed also with garlic and shallot.  The slivers of fungi allowed to caramelized to deepen their flavor.  Chopped oregano and parsley were added towards the end.  

The cooked mushrooms can be folded into the risotto or spooned on top once plated.  Finish with a final grating of the pecorino.

With dinner, a bottle of riesling.  It could have been Trebbiano or an equally fragrant high acid white from Friuli.  Riesling pairs well with most things.  Tonight’s version was a  done dry five year old Wachau bottling.  Crisp and refreshing.  It did the job of cleansing the palate and balancing out the richness of the carb heavy meal.


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