Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Home Cooking... Mushroom Risotto

Good Morning!

I hope you are well today.

I was up reasonably early today at 5:45 woken by Miss Gould as she sang along to her lullaby toy. So feeling fresh from my 3.5 hours sleep *cough* I wondered what I could write today. Then I got it...

Mushroom Risotto!
Just let me make a cup of tea and then we can take on the world...

I have to admit that up until last week, I had never eaten Risotto, let alone cooked it, but I was surprised at how easy it was and even more surprised at how wonderful it tasted!

I then came to the conclusion that I could eat risotto every day of my life. I could eat it out of the pan with a spoon and never actually serve it up on to a plate.

So this Mushroom Risotto is a compilation of a few recipes with my own added bits. It takes about 25 mins to prep including the prep of soaking the porcini. Cooking time is about 35 mins and it should serve 4.


  1 onion, finely chopped

  50g of butter, plus extra to serve

  300 g superfino carnaroli rice

  3 tbsp plus 1 tsp white wine

  20 g dried porcini, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

  1 litres hot chicken or vegetable stock, preferably home-made

  1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

  200 g wild mushrooms

  20 g finely grated parmesan

  4 tbsp chopped parsley

  black pepper

Heat the butter in a non-stick risotto pan/heavy based casserole dish on a gentle heat. Add the onion and cook slowly for 5-7 minutes. Don’t allow the butter to burn or smoke.

 Add the rice and stir in to the heated butter. Allow the butter to coat the rice and heat it a little until the rice is made almost translucent by the butter.

Stirring continuously, add the white wine and cook for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

Drain the dried mushrooms, squeeze out any excess moisture and add them to the rice

Gently pour in about a fifth of the stock to the pan, stirring constantly, allow the rice to begin to soften in the stock. After a few minutes when the stock is beginning to dry up in the pan add another fifth and continue stirring.

Keep an eye on the stock levels and if it starts to look like the pan is drying up add some more. Keeping it moving and not allowing it to come anywhere near close to burning dry.

With your eye on the pan and stirring when you can, chop the garlic up very finely. It’s important that it is as fine as you can manage as large pieces of garlic are not nice to chew on! Add the garlic to the pan, along with the ground black pepper, and continue to stir. Continuing to add the stock little by little until it is all gone.

If at this time when you taste the rice it is still a little bit crunchy but all of the stock has been used then feel free to add a tablespoon of water. I ended up adding four tablespoons of water as my rice took longer to cook than expected. I was pleased about this though as I realised it was because I had the pan on such a low, simmering heat. This gave the risotto a magnificent texture and was worth the extra time and stirring.

Add the rest of the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes

When you have tasted the rice and feel that it is past the crunchy stage, a teeny bit ‘al dente’ and not yet soggy then you’ll know it’s ready to serve. At this point you can add the parmesan, parsley and the rest of the butter to the pan. Continue to stir the ingredients into the risotto until it has completely melted.

Serve immediately!

For my first attempt, I think Paul was pleasantly surprised by how well my risotto turned out. So, with the kids in bed, we sat down and enjoyed our dinner with an indulgent glass of wine (or two).
What are your plans for this evening? Thursday nights here are certainly more low key than they were a few years ago but it has to be said that they are certainly not any less fun. I love chewing the cud with family & friends. We all have such big plans and dreams. My kids will grow up listening to us adults get excited over what we plan to do. Excitement is so infectious and I believe that they too will get excited and allow themselves to have their own dreams. They’ll learn to converse and debate correctly at the dinner table and we’ll encourage that. Of course if they ever disagree with me it’ll be straight to the naughty step for them… :)
And when they come home after an adventure I’ll get the pot out and cook for them. That way I can stand and listen while my kids entertain me with stories that they think I couldn’t possibly have heard anything about or experienced because I’m just Mummy.
I look forward to those times, but for now, this is perfect.
I want to thank you for reading today and hope that if you are thinking of cooking something different this weekend you’ll give this a go.
Have a fantastic Thursday.

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