Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto-1-3 If you watch any cooking competition shows, such as Top Chef, Master Chef, Food Network Star, Iron Chef America, etc. you know that risotto is considered to be a fancy, gourmet dish. If you know how to make risotto, you can be proud of your cooking skills and if you don’t know how to make risotto, you may as well hang your head in shame.

I always wondered what the hype was all about and then after I tried it, I knew that risotto has earned it’s reputation with honor. The good news is that even though it has such a high esteemed reputation, it’s actually very easy to make. Who would have known?

This seemingly simple rice dish is so luxurious and creamy, it tastes like it was cooked with tons of butter and cream. However, you’ll be pleased to find out that there’s only a very modest amount of butter and no cream whatsoever. Risotto is cooked with a short grain rice, which has lots of starch coating each rice kernel, and that starch will give the rice the creamy texture that it needs.

Since this is such a comforting dish, I thought it would pair perfectly with some hearty mushrooms. I had recently bought some chanterelle mushrooms and knew that this would be the perfect way to use them. 

Ingredients:

1 cup dry mushrooms (I used chanterelles)

4 oz fresh mushrooms (I used a combination of bella, shitake and oyster mushrooms)

2 Tablespoons butter

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup reserved mushroom liquid

6 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 – 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

salt, pepper

Risotto has a creamy consistency and to achieve that, we need to use a short grain rice called Arborio. The short grain rice has a lot of starch, which will thicken the broth that the rice will be cooking in and create that creaminess that risotto is so famous for. Long grain rice will not work in this recipe. I bought mine when I was in Italy this summer with my husband. It is a common ingredient in America these days, so you can easily find it in your local grocery store.

Mushroom Risotto-1-30 For this risotto, I used both fresh and dry mushrooms. You can use one or the other. I like using a combination, since the dry mushrooms give a real depth of flavor and the fresh mushrooms balance the intense and concentrated flavor and give freshness as well. It’s very hard to find fresh chanterelle mushrooms, but they are my favorite mushroom of all, so I love that they are available online.

For the fresh mushrooms, I used a combination of baby bella, shitake and oyster mushrooms. You can use whatever mushrooms that you can find in your local grocery store.

Mushroom Risotto-1-28 Place the dry mushrooms in a small saucepan and cover with water. Mushroom Risotto-1-26 Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are rehydrated and soft.   Mushroom Risotto-1-32 Drain the mushroom liquid and set it aside to be used in the risotto later. Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet and add the rehydrated dry mushrooms, the fresh mushrooms, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mushroom Risotto-1-34 Cook for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Mushroom Risotto-1-36 Meanwhile, pour the chicken broth into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to low and keep the broth on the stove, at a low simmer. It’s very important to use hot broth in risotto, so  it stays hot when you’re adding it to the rice. If you add cold broth, the rice will not cook evenly, and the rice will be hard on the inside.

It is best to use homemade broth. This is one of the recipes where it will make a huge difference in taste. The liquid that you will be using to cook the risotto will become a lot more concentrated. If you’re using store-bought broth, t’s important to remember to use low salt broth.

Mushroom Risotto-1-14 In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, melt the butter and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions for 3-5 minutes, until they are tender. Add 2 garlic cloves, cook for another 30 seconds. Mushroom Risotto-1-16 Add the rice to the skillet, stirring, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the rice is completely coated in the butter and is translucent. Cooking the rice in the butter will coat each kernel and prevent them from absorbing the liquid too quickly and becoming soggy.  Mushroom Risotto-1-18 Pour in the wine and cook until most of the wine is soaked in to the rice. Mushroom Risotto-1-20

Mushroom Risotto-1-22 Pour in the reserved mushroom liquid, and once again, keep cooking until the liquid is absorbed into the rice. Keep ladling in about a cup of the hot broth into the rice, and then adding another cup of broth as soon as most of the broth is absorbed into the rice. Mushroom Risotto-1-38

Mushroom Risotto-1-12

Mushroom Risotto-1-40 It’s important to keep stirring the risotto frequently. Keep cooking the risotto on medium heat until it is creamy and the rice is soft but still has a slightly chewy texture. It should take about 25-30 minutes, but it could be more; you just have to keep an eye on it and keep tasting the rice to check for doneness. You might not need to use all of the broth. Mushroom Risotto-1-10 Give the risotto a taste to see if it needs any more salt. My chicken broth was salty enough, so I didn’t need to add any more salt. Also, keep in mind that you’ll still be adding the Parmesan cheese to the risotto, which is salty too. Add freshly grated black pepper, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir to combine. Mushroom Risotto-1-8 Add the mushrooms and stir to combine as well. Serve immediately. Mushroom Risotto-1-6

Mushroom Risotto-1-4

Mushroom Risotto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry mushrooms (I used chanterelles)
  • 4 oz fresh mushrooms (I used a combination of bella, shitake and oyster mushrooms)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup reserved mushroom liquid
  • 6½ cups chicken broth
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • salt, pepper
Instructions
  1. Risotto has a creamy consistency and to achieve that, we need to use a short grain rice called Arborio. The short grain rice has a lot of starch, which will thicken the broth that the rice will be cooking in and create that creaminess that risotto is so famous for. Long grain rice will not work in this recipe. It is a common ingredient in America these days, so you can easily find it in your local grocery store.
  2. For this risotto, I used both fresh and dry mushrooms. You can use one or the other. I like using a combination, since the dry mushrooms give a real depth of flavor and the fresh mushrooms balance the intense and concentrated flavor and give freshness as well. It's very hard to find fresh chanterelle mushrooms, but they are my favorite mushroom of all, so I love that they are available online.
  3. For the fresh mushrooms, I used a combination of baby bella, shitake and oyster mushrooms. You can use whatever mushrooms that you can find in your local grocery store.
  4. Place the dry mushrooms in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are rehydrated and soft. Drain the mushroom liquid and set it aside to be used in the risotto later.
  5. Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet and add the rehydrated dry mushrooms, the fresh mushrooms, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, pour the chicken broth into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to low and keep the broth on the stove, at a low simmer. It's very important to use hot broth in risotto, so it stays hot when you're adding it to the rice. If you add cold broth, the rice will not cook evenly, and the rice will be hard on the inside.
  7. It is best to use homemade broth. This is one of the recipes where it will make a huge difference in taste. The liquid that you will be using to cook the risotto will become a lot more concentrated. If you're using store-bought broth, t's important to remember to use low salt broth.
  8. In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, melt the butter and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions for 3-5 minutes, until they are tender. Add 2 garlic cloves, cook for another 30 seconds.
  9. Add the rice to the skillet, stirring, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the rice is completely coated in the butter and is translucent.
  10. Pour in the wine and cook until most of the wine is soaked in to the rice.
  11. Pour in the reserved mushroom liquid, and once again, keep cooking until the liquid is absorbed into the rice.
  12. Keep ladling in about a cup of the hot broth into the rice, and then adding another cup of broth as soon as most of the broth is absorbed into the rice.
  13. It's important to keep stirring the risotto frequently. Keep cooking the risotto on medium heat until it is creamy and the rice is soft but still has a slightly chewy texture. It should be about 25-30 minutes, but could be more, you just have to keep an eye on it. You might not need to use all of the broth.
  14. Give the risotto a taste to see if it needs any more salt. My chicken broth was salty enough, so I didn't need to add any more salt. Also, keep in mind that you'll still be adding the Parmesan cheese to the risotto, which is salty too.
  15. Add freshly grated black pepper, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir to combine. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine as well. Serve immediately.

 
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Comments

    • says

      You can certainly reheat it, but it will no longer have the same texture, Galya. It will be much thicker. You could probably add some more broth to it. However, the best way to reheat risotto is by making risotto cakes. Take some of the risotto, (it becomes stiff when it gets cold) and shape it into little balls and then fry it up in a skillet. Absolutely delicious! A lot of people like it even better than the actual risotto:). You can even put a chunk of mozzarella cheese in the center of the ball and then when you bite into it, there that gooey cheese…. YUM!

  1. pat soltis says

    I tried to post a comment an hour or so ago, but I’m afraid that my email server was playing jokes on me. Anyway, I made this risotto this evening, and I loved it. I used fresh shiitake mushrooms (from my local super market) and dried oyster mushrooms (courtesy of my sister, who gave me a big bag of dried mushrooms for Christmas). The result was great. Thanks!

    Pat

      • pat soltis says

        I’m the eldest of four siblings, and I’m sixty-three years old. Our father passed away in 1999, and our mother in 2012. Cooking and sharing food is one way in which we remember and celebrate our parents. We all know how to cook, and we all enjoy doing it and sharing the results.

        Pat

          • pat soltis says

            Olga,

            Thanks for your appreciative and respectful comments on my postings. May I explain in a little more detail?

            My dad was the eighth of fifteen (!) children, all from the same father and mother. I grew up with a small army of aunts, uncles, and cousins. On important holidays there would be immense parties at the old family farmhouse in far northeastern Ohio, very close to the Pennsylvania border. Folding tables and folding chairs, extending from the dining room out into the parlor and, with a ninety-degree bend, into the living room.

            My father’s mother, Anna Catherine Fobean Soltis, was half Slovak and (possibly?) half Montenegrin. There is also possibly some Hungarian in the mix (Soltis — Szoltesz?).

            Anyway, I now have a big old (white oak?) board that belonged to my grandmother and which she used for rolling out and cutting noodles. I only ever saw her use it oncel. when I was six or seven years old. She passed away when I was a few months shy of eleven, in 1961.

            Anyway, I’ve never made a bad batch of fresh pasta using this board. It seems to be haunted by a benevolent spirit.

            Our parents and grandparent loved us!

            Pat

          • says

            What a great story, Pat.
            My husband is one of 12. Large families are great.
            I love your family heritage. It’s so rich and meaningful and full of warm memories. Especially that board:).

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