When we think of Italian cuisine, the first starch that comes to mind is pasta. But in Italy, risotto is just as popular. Like pasta, it’s something of a neutral canvas and can be flavored in many different ways. The key to a good risotto is the rice. Arborio, a short-grain variety, is my choice for a creamy, velvety risotto.
In this recipe, I am using three different mushrooms. The most important ingredient is “Chanterelle mushroom”. It grows in the wild right after mid September rain in the Canadian West coast. In addition, I have added “Morel mushroom” for its deep woody aroma. Also I am using an everyday “White button mushroom” for the extra texture.
– With risotto, you add the liquid in small increments, stirring well and allowing the rice to absorb the liquid gradually.
– You can add just about anything you want to basic risotto: prosciutto, vegetables such as peas, seafood such as shrimp, or herbs and other seasonings such as saffron.
– Add small amount of unsalted butter to the risotto just before serving. It gives a shine to the rice on the plate. (only if you are not on a diet)
Arborio rice (wash drain well) 2 cups
Chanterelle mushroom (fresh) 2 cups (chopped)
Morel mushroom (fresh or dry) 2 cups (chopped)
Shitake mushroom (fresh) or
White button mushroom (fresh) 2 cups
Chicken stock 1 1/2 cups
White wine 1 1/2 cups
Heavy cream 3/4 cup
(Use skim milk if you are on a diet)
Kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon
Freshly grounded black pepper 1/4 teaspoon
Reggiano-parmigiano or Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup
Garlic 1 teaspoon (chopped)
Shallot 1 teaspoon (chopped)
Extra virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons
Use medium heat to heat up olive oil In a large (10 inch) frying pan, add mushrooms. Use a spatula to turn mushroom often. Season it with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Set aside once you can smell the aroma from the pan.
In the same pan put in the rest of the olive oil, add garlic and shallot. Once you smell the aroma coming out from the pan, add Arborio rice. Use a spatula to turn the rice frequently. Pour in 1/4 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of chicken stock to the rice and stir well, add kosher salt and pepper. Once you see the liquid is absorbed by the rice, add more liquid (wine and chicken stock), keep on turning the rice it with a spatula constantly. The 1 1/2 cup of liquid (wine/chicken stock) is only a rough guideline of the required liquid. Different kind of rice will absorb different amount of liquid.
Add the already cooked mushroom to the rice and mix it thoroughly. Turn heat down to medium/low and cover the pan with a lid for 5-8 minutes. Test the rice to see if it is cooked through. Add more chicken stock if needed. Pour in cream once you open the lid and stir well. Turn heat off before rice absorbs all the cream, add Parmigiano-Reggiano (except for two teaspoons for table serving). Dinner is ready!