Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The first risotto of the season! Shiitake mushrooms blended with sauteed 'shrooms and ham, all folded into a rich, creamy ricey base. Mushroom Risotto 4-6 Shiitake mushrooms, dried and reconstituted in hot water (save the water!) 1 c (or so) button mushrooms, sliced 1 shallot, finely diced 1.5 c arborio rice 1 Tbs olive oil, plus 1 Tbs for the mushrooms 1/4 c (or so) white wine or dry sherry (or Marsala, in my case) 4-5 c chicken broth 1/4 c sliced ham 1 Tbs butter salt 1/4-1/3 c Parmesan cheese As the Shiitake mushrooms plump up in the hot water, saute the button mushrooms in 1 Tbs olive oil on med-high heat til golden brown. Set aside, and try not to set off the smoke alarm like I did. Take the Shiitakes out of the water and slice them, discarding the tough stems. Then, in a large saucepan, saute the shallots in the remaining oil, and then add the arborio rice, stirring well to make sure each grain is coated in the oil. Pour in some of the Shiitake water (tres flavorful, but try to avoid the grit that's collected at the bottom) and stir until the water is absorbed. Carefully add the wine or other alcohol, and stir til it is absorbed. Then add maybe 1/2 c of broth, stir until it's almost completely absorbed, and then add more broth. Continue this for about 22-25 min., until the rice mixture has become creamy and the grains of rice are fully cooked (but not mushy). You don't want this too thick, nor do you want it too liquidy--just right is what you're aiming for. Stir in both kinds of mushrooms and the ham, add the parmesan, and check for salt. Then add the 1 Tbs of butter, which just makes it ultra creamy and delicious. Serve immediately.