Mushrooms + Cheese= Risotto Love

I have a love for all different types of food, but anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a deep obsession for mushrooms and cheese. If I can find a way to add them to a recipe, they are likely to be included. This obsession is what sparked my deep love for risotto. Although risotto is an Italian classic known for its velvety texture, there are so many great variations. Although this recipe requires more consentration than the average pasta dish, it is totally worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups arborio rice
  • 1 qt mushroom or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 medium shallot or ½ small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (½ stick)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp of the butter in a saute pan and saute the sliced mushrooms until they're soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.
  4. Add the rice to the pot and stir it briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Saute for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. Don't let the rice burn or brown.
  5. Add the wine and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  6. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice is almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. Note: It's important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.
  7. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you'll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches.
  8. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. When you're down to your last few ladles of stock, add the cooked mushrooms. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it's absorbed.

  9. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, the parmesan cheese and the parsley, and season with Kosher salt.
  10. Risotto turns gelatinous if held for too long, so serve right away. Enjoy!