Mushroom Risotto

This is my first time cooking risotto, and I thought it was quite the same as cooking congee, with the exception of cooking the rice in butter/olive oil first until translucent prior to adding liquid. Anyway, this was supposed to be asparagus and wild mushroom risotto, but I wasn’t able to find wild mushrooms this weekend, and my asparagus had gone bad. Luckily we still had some white and portabello mushrooms lying around.

The initial idea is to use both broth and white wine, but I didn’t want to buy a bottle of wine just to use 1 cup of it, so I resorted to cooking with vegetable broth and water. I would think that it would be much better with wine. Nonetheless, the risotto was amazing and I would make this again with other interesting combination of vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 half of sweet onion, chopped 
  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of white wine or water
  • 2 cups of chopped mushrooms (any variety except enoki would work I think)
  • 4 tbsp butter (you can use half olive oil and half butter if you like, but butter is yummier…)
  • 2 tbsp of pasta  or Italian seasoning (use combination of chopped fresh herbs i.e. thyme, Italian parsley, if available, of course) 
  • A sprinkle of garlic powder or any amount of chopped garlic (personal preference)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Romano cheese (Parmesan would work too).. I LOVE CHEESE!!

Method

  1. Warm broth in a saucepan.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large non-reactive saucepan. Caramelize the chopped onions until translucent. Add in chopped garlic and mushrooms and cook until they start to soften. Some recipes called for saving the mushrooms to be added to the risotto later, but I think it is not necessary for mine unless I’m using more “tender” mushrooms, like wild mushrooms. In that case, I would cook the wild mushroom with butter and garlic first, and then cook the onions with the rice, adding the garlic, mushrooms and butter mixture to the risotto later.
  3. Melt the remaining butter and add rice. Stir to coat with oil/butter.
  4. When the rice turns to a pale gold, add in wine (if using, or else add broth). Stir constantly until it is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of broth to the rice and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding just enough hot water (if not using wine) when the broth is finished to cook the rice until al dente. I think it took us about 20- 25 minutes of constantly adding liquid and stirring. The rice should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest, chopped chives, romano cheese and more butter if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve while hot.

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