I could eat risotto every day if I didn't like so many other foods as well.
On Saturday I made a large batch of risotto and I used some wild mushrooms that our friend, John, had picked in the fall. (This is why I've called the mushrooms "Really Wild" rather than just plain ol' "Wild.") John was on a mushroom-foraging kick for quite a while, and fortunately he shared some of his findings with us.
The top bag contains Hen of the Woods stems and pieces, and the lower bag is one of two bags of Brown Oak (a sort of Wild Shiitake, I believe) he gave us. The other bag of Brown Oak is somewhere in my freezer, buried beneath cubes of Red Thai Curry Paste and bags of beef stock and frozen vegetables.
Anyway, I made a rather large amount of risotto – you can reduce the rice and corresponding liquid if you'd like, but I'd keep the mushroom amount the same, because after I'd made this batch, I found myself wishing I'd looked harder for the other bag of Brown Oaks.
Here's my list of ingredients:
3 cups Arborio rice
roughly 2 cups wild mushrooms, cut into large pieces
2 T butter
3 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 cloves of garlic, peeled, each clove cut into 3-4 pieces
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock (a mushroom stock would be great, too), kept warm in a pot on the stove
4-6 cups hot water (or you could use more stock. I only had 6 cups on hand, so i had to use water for the rest of the liquid)
2 cups shredded (not grated) good romano or parmesan
And here's what I did:
First, I melted the butter in a large pan on a medium-high flame and added the olive oil so the butter wouldn't burn.
Then I added the mushrooms, onions and garlic and sauteed them until the onions had softened.
Then I poured in the rice and sauteed that, stirring constantly, until the rice was translucent.
Next, in went the wine, I stirred some more, and then added a ladle of chicken stock. I reduced the heat to medium and stirred, stirred, stirred, until the liquid was just about completely absorbed.
In went more liquid. More stirring ensued. Liquid was absorbed. I added more liquid. And so on. That was pretty much the pattern.
After most of the chicken stock had been added, I started tasting the rice to see how tender it was.
You want the rice in the finished dish to have a little bite to it (you know, like in pasta – al dente) without being hard and crunchy.
Once the rice has reached that stage, stir in your cheese, add salt and pepper if you wish, and serve.
It's creamy, earthy, cheesy, hearty, and well worth all the stirring!