Sunday, 2 November 2008

Mushroom lover's risotto

This is definitely a risotto for those who love mushrooms, with the use of four different types - dried porcini, portobello, brown chestnut and shimeiji. The dried porcini, in particular, has really intense flavours and the addition of the soaking liquid really adds some mushroom-omph. Mushrooms that are strongly flavoured such as portobello, brown chestnuts and even shitake are pretty good for this dish. Milder ones like white button mushrooms and king oyster are less ideal as they have little flavour on their own (but absorb other flavours like a sponge). The shimeiji mushrooms are best added towards the end of cooking as they are quite delicate and requires less cooking to preserve a slight crunch in texture.

Dried porcini, portobello, brown chestnut and shimeiji

I must admit that I probably went a little over enthusiastic on the amount of mushrooms. I could have just used either the large portobello or the brown chestnuts, and not both. It wasn't a problem since AP and I both adore mushrooms, but you might want to cut it down to try out the recipe for the first time.

Ingredients (serves 2):

Risotto rice 150g (I used arborio rice)
Butter 20g
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
3-4 pieces of dried porcini mushrooms
1 large portobello mushroom, chopped
4-5 brown chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 small bundle of shimeiji mushrooms (about a handful), base trimmed and separated into stalks
A large glass of dry white wine
400ml chicken stock
30g grated parmesan cheese
Small handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes until soft. Gently squeeze out excess water and chop into small pieces. Reserve the soaking liquid.

Reconstituting dried porcini

2. Place the stock in a small saucepan. Add the mushroom soaking liquid (discard the gritty bits at the bottom), bring to the boil and keep on a low simmering heat.
3. Heat some oil and half the butter in a large pan. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened but not browned.
4. Add the dried porcini, portobello and chestnut mushrooms and sautee for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the rice, dried porcini and white wine, stir well and heat until all surplus liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir the mixture until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to add the remaining stock ladle by ladle, stirring frequently, for about 25-30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just cooked to al dente. If you run out of stock just before the rice is done, just add hot water. (I found myself needing more liquid than in previous risotto recipes. It might be due to the mushrooms absorbing more water.)

Risotto cooking

5. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the shimeiji mushrooms and the last portion of stock or water. Cook for a few more minutes until the shimeiji is tender and stock is absorbed. Add grated parmesan and remaining butter. Stir well, and season with salt and pepper. The mixture should be slightly creamy and the rice al dente. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Mushroom lover's risotto

Other risotto recipes:
Chicken and bacon risotto with peas
Asparagus and lemon risotto
Seafood risotto in tomato sauce
Prawn and pea risotto


VeggieGirl said...

I AM a lover of mushrooms, so that risotto is calling out my name! :0)

kokostiletto said...

i looove mushrooms too! it blows my mind how some ppl hate them!!!

didally said...

It's the lovely mushrooms again. Did a baked version using risoni instead. My first risotto was from a instant pack. It was too creamy for me. Perhaps I make my own next time with less cream.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

The cluster of Shimeji's look gorgeous. I love the fact that you don't have to hunt for the mushrooms in this one. Looks great!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks great, must be packed with mushrooms flavor!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Our local farmers' market sells beautiful mushrooms like the ones you have here. And you've just inspired me to buy some next week and make risotto. Yours looks sublime.

mycookinghut said...

Believe it or not, I just had risotto as dinner :) Exactly mushroom risotto :) I just have to say I love it!!

Nilmandra said...

Veggiegirl: Hope you enjoy it!

kokostiletto: Well, I love aubergine/eggplant and brussel sprouts too and plenty of people dislike them!

Didally: There shouldn't be diary cream in risotto, but then all sorts of things go into most instant packs. The slow cooking coaxes the starch out from the rice to mix with the broth, and cheese and butter gives it a creamy texture and taste. Maybe cut down on the cheese and butter when you cook for yourself?

Marc: No mushroom hunting, otherwise I'll turn into a hobbit soon, heh.

Little corner of mine: Mushroomy-goodness!

Susan: Give it a go, and don't forget the dried porcini. The flavour is really intense. They can be pricey but since you use only a little each time, they do last for a while.

My cooking hut: Coincidence!

jokergirl@wererabbits said...

Looks good but a bit liquid - I haven't seen a risotto retain so much liquid before! It does look quite delicious though. (Or maybe I'm just projecting the risotto cooking on my stove? :) )

By the way, portobellos are just a bigger version of the little chestnuts - they won't taste much different, so you can save your money unless you're going for effect!


Abigail said...

Oh, wow, that sounds REALLY tasty!

Nilmandra said...

jokergirl: Heh, yeah it was a bit liquid. We got hungry and impatient and took it off the stove early :p

Abigail: Thanks!

Ruth Daniels said...

Looks fantastic. I recently made a very tasty mushroom risotto, but made the mistake of using cremini mushrooms with black gills that I should have scraped first...made the dish a very dark muddy brown. Still tasted great though.

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous version with Presto Pasta

Kevin said...

Great risotto!

tigerfish said...

This is so yum-o!

pixen said...

I was thinking of rearing a cat or a dog to sniff out mushrooms for me LOL. It will be great if they can find truffles!

I love the way mushrooms impart their unique flavours in our cuisine. Give me less rice and more mushrooms please!!! :-D

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