I am well aware that it is the start of the new year, and that everywhere we look, all media sources seem to be obsessing on diets, cleanses of one sort of another (ugh), or some other deprivation of body and spirit. I, for one, prefer to live by the words of Julia Child who so wisely said “all things in moderation”. Except for this risotto from my blogging partner Tricia, which I will devour until every last bite is gone. Once you taste it, you’ll understand why. We are hearing predictions of freezing rain this weekend, and this spells comfort food in my book. Luckily for all of us, here is the ultimate in adult comfort food.
If you haven’t tried risotto before because you thought it might be too difficult or too fancy, you are in for a big treat. Let me walk you through these easy steps, and then pull of your favorite chair in front of the fire with a nice glass of wine, and I promise you won’t come up for air until every last bite is gone.
The star of the show here are the mushrooms. I will admit to being a bit skeptical when Tricia starting roughly chopping them – I have always been a slicing kind of person. But holy cow, the difference in flavor between sliced and chopped is amazing, and I highly recommend it. Besides, it’s fun – especially if you happen to harbor any unresolved aggression from the holidays. You can use whichever kind of mushrooms appeal to you. For this recipe, we chose wild chanterelles, crimini (which are baby portabella mushrooms), and these beautiful oyster mushrooms I found. Don’t pass up the recipe if you only want to use one kind – this is your recipe and it is totally up to you.
Got those guys chopped? While you are in a chopping frame of mind, go ahead and chop your herbs and slice up your green onions.
And now the cooking starts — get those mushrooms and onions sautéed with some garlic and load on the fresh herbs.
Then the wine goes in (insert smily face emoji), gets cooked down for awhile, and then the Arborio rice goes in for a quick sauté.
While all of this is happening, you have been bringing your broth to a boil and then keeping at a simmer nearby. The broth gets added by the half-cupful until it has all been absorbed. Go on….stir in that cheese…
While nobody’s looking, grab a big old bite for yourself. You can say this is for quality control purposes in case you get caught.
The only thing left at this point is to plate it up, garnish if you want, and dive in headfirst.
Thanks Tricia – this is an all time winner. I hope you all enjoy your journey into risotto, and Happy New Year!! xoxox
- 6 cups chicken broth (regular or low-sodium, your choice)
- 1 cup white wine (use what you like to drink – Pinot Gris or Cabernet Sauvignon is a nice choice because it’s almost citrusy flavor compliments the richness of the cheese so well)
- 3 to 8 tablespoons of butter
- 1 or 2 gloves crushed garlic
- 3 or 4 green onion chopped (optional)
- 6 generous cups of mushrooms, coarsely chopped (it’s fun to try to use2- 3 varieties, but not required. For our recipe, we used wild chanterelles, crimini, and oyster mushrooms
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram (optional)
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley for garnish (optional)
- ½ cup roasted and chopped hazelnuts for garnish (optional)
- Heat broth either in microwave or on the stove to boiling point and then simmer.
- In a separate pan, sauté 3 tablespoons butter, onion and garlic until soft. Add mushrooms and herbs (and more butter if desired) and sauté until soft (approximately 10 minutes). Add the wine and cook down until wine is reduced at to at least ⅓ cup.
- Stir in rice and sauté until slightly opaque. Begin adding broth by ½ cup increments and cook and stir until the liquid is almost absorbed. Continue in this manner until the liquid has all be absorbed. Add Parmesan and Gruyere cheese. Add pepper to taste. Add 1 to tablespoons of butter and stir in thoroughly.
- Top with fresh parsley and Parmesan. Serve immediately.
- COOK’S NOTES: If you have any left over risotto (ha ha), you can form into little cakes, chill thoroughly, and sauté until crispy on the outside and heated through – just another little slice of heaven.