My friends rock.
It's totally true.
Last week, I was blessed with a little goodie bag full of wild chantrelle and coral mushrooms. Lawd, have mercy. And what's a girl to do with these delicious morsels of goodness?
Well, make mushroom risotto, of course!
But unlike my typical meal, this one is neither super easy nor super quick. A proper risotto takes time, you see (well, at least that's what Chef Ramsey says…). So, if I had this to cook over again, I would definitely choose a slower-paced night, a date night perhaps, as it does require a half hour of constant attention. But man, is it worth it.
For when you wanna make somefin' really special.
Wild Mushroom Risotto
You will need:
– 6 cups chicken stock (homemade is best!)
– A generous glug of olive oil
– 1 small onion, diced very fine
– 2 ribs celery, diced very fine
– 14 ounces small grain brown rice (or risotto rice for those wanting to splurge!)
– 2/3 cup white wine
– About 4 large handfuls of wild mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely broken up
– Juice of one lemon
– Fresh herbs, to taste (I used a few tablespoons each of thyme, rosemary, and chives….though parsley or tarragon would be delicious, too).
– Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
– 2 tablespoons of butter
– 2 small handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Step One: Heat your stock up in a pan and keep it nice and hot while you complete the next few steps.
Step Two: In a large skillet, heat up your glug of olive oil. Then, add in your onions and celery, slowly and gently allowing them to soften for about ten minutes. Then, turn the heat up slightly and add in your rice.
Step Three: Add in the white wine and gently stir the rice as it begins to soak up the liquid….yummm…..
Step Four: Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice, and stand there, gently stirring it and allowing it to simmer. Gently, now…gently. One must become one with the risotto and slowly massage the starch out of the rice…
While the rice soaks up this ladle-full of hot stock, let's turn our attention to the mushrooms. To bring our their naturally nutty flavor, we shall dry roast them. On a hot skillet, place the clean mushrooms, and allow them to hang out on there for a little while…slowly roasting. Okay, now back to the rice.
Step Five: Once the rice has absorbed the first ladle full of stock, add another. Keep stirring, gently. After it has absorbed that stock, add some more. You just keep adding small amounts of stock at a time and slowly allow the simmering rice to soak it up until the rice is tender, but not mushy. This will take about thirty minutes in total. You don't want to end up with a pile of mush, so add enough stock to create a delicious sauce that the rice can swim in a little bit.
Step Six: Once the rice is near completion, remove the mushrooms from their dry skillet and toss them with the freshly chopped herbs and the lemon juice.
Step Seven: When the rice is perfectly cooked, stir in salt and pepper to taste. Then, add in your handfuls of Parmesan cheese and the butter. Give it another stir.
Step Eight: Serve a generous scoop of the risotto rice and top it with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese (heck, throw a little Feta in there if you're feeling wild!) and a generous scoop of the dry roasted mushrooms.
I know, I know…it's not a totally easy recipe. But I was feeling fancy!
And I would like to thank my dear friend, Nannette, for sharing her delicious, freshly picked mushrooms with me…and for making me feel like a risotto queen! If even for a day. Tomorrow we may be back to grilled cheese…but tonight, our taste buds sing with pleasure!
Yes, I am finished now. Thank you for allowing me that moment.
Now – get out and get to harvesting those local mushrooms in your area! And enjoy!
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.