October 25, 2004

Porcini Risotto

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms
derived from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

1/2 cup canned beef broth diluted with 2 cups water
1 TBSP butter
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 TBSP chopped shallot
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted
the filtered water from mushroom soak
black pepper (to taste)
3 TBSP freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Soak 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms in 1 cup barely warm water for 30 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms and squeeze as much water as possible back into the pan. Reserve water for later use. Rinse the mushrooms several times in fresh changes of water and then let dry on paper towels.

Bring the broth to a very slow, steady simmer.

Put 1/2 TBSP butter and 1/2 TBSP oil and chopped shallot into a broad, sturdy pot and turn on heat to medium high. Cook and stir until shallot becomes translucent, then add the rice. Stir quickly and thoroughly until grains are well-coated.

Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and cook, stirring constantly until there is no more liquid in the pot. Add the reconstituted mushrooms and 1/2 the filtered water. Continue to stir until there is no more liquid and then add remaining filtered water. When that is used up, add broth 1/4 cup at a time until rice is finished cooking. It should be tender, but firm to the bite.

Off heat, add a few grindings of fresh pepper and the grated Parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted and clings to rice. Serve with additional grated cheese on the side.

Notes: The stirring, the stirring... But always so worthwhile. One must remember to start the mushrooms soaking well before one wishes to eat so dinner is before 8:30pm. Also, the recipe in the book called for onion, but I substituted shallots as I prefer them. This is not a well-organized cookbook either -- better for reading than for following a recipe as this required references to two other sections of the book that I have here combined into one convenient location. This makes two very generous portions; perhaps three reasonable portions.

Posted by Jennifer at October 25, 2004 10:22 AM
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