Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Mushroom Risotto

This was actually my Saturday night's dinner but I didn't get round to blogging about it!  Hubbs is not a fan of risotto - not sure he likes the wet soggy rice?  Anyway, I made him grilled steak and chips and that kept him happy!  Saying that, when I cook rice, I always cook too much and I find it handy as the extra portion goes into a microwavable box that hubbs takes to work for lunch.  He isn't a sandwich lover like me and prefers hot food (hmm...maybe because he was born in a hot country and that is what he's used to whereas I was brought up on bread in UK?).

I find risotto a very soothing and comforting dish.  Ideally best if you watch it throughout cooking and am able to stir it constantly as I find it tends to make the rice more creamy - didn't work that way for me as I had to cook hubbs dinner whilst making my own!

I like cooking dishes like this where you don't have to constantly refer to recipes for amounts and quantities.  Baking however is a bit of an exact science and I do find you need to be specific.

I used:

100-150g each of three types of mushrooms, fresh shiitake, mini portabella and chestnut
8 oz of arborio risotto rice
1 small onion finely sliced
1 shallot sliced
Handful of fresh shelled peas (optional)
1 1/2 pt vegetable stock (hot)
little oil and knob of butter

I first gently fried off the onion shallot in a frying pan to soften them.  If I had any celery I probably would've added a finely sliced celery stick in for flavour. 

Add the rice (I measure in a jug up to the 8oz mark - no need to wash rice first).  On a low heat stir the grains on rice in the oil for about 1-2 mins so they are all coated in oil but not burnt.

Add some of  the stock in (they say a ladle full at a time so I pour enough just to cover the rice) and allow this to simmer gently whilst stirring all the time.  Risotto rice has an ability to absorb 3 times it's weight of liquid.  Stirring releases the starch giving you that creamy texture.

When the stock has been absorbed, add more stock stirring again. 

I then added the peas so they could simmer along with the rice.  I added the sliced mushrooms in as well.  I decided not to fry them off separately as I wanted all the rich mushroomy goodness and flavour to be in the rice.

Continue adding the stock when the water has been absorbed by the rice.  You can check the rice to see if it's cooked to your liking.  Italians like it al dente, my mum would say it's not cooked through!  So again, personal preference.  Check for seasoning.  When ready, stir in the knob of butter to make it rich and creamy.  Some like to add some grated Parmesan cheese and stir it in.  It does add to the flavour and it certainly is creamy but I didn't want that - I wanted that deep savoury flavour from the shiitake mushrooms.  You can eat as is or you can have it as an accompaniment to other things like grilled meat.  Or you can add some cooked chicken shreds as you are cooking the rice.  Can be handy way of using up small amounts of veggies lurking in bottom of fridge.

No comments:

Post a Comment