Food

Classing Up Risotto, One Plate at a Time

By Seth Fera-Schanes

I typically associate risotto with cooler weather months.  This might be a function of the denseness of the meal and some primeval urge to bulk up before winter.  I say this fully aware one can order a nice spring or summer themed risotto but just go with me on this one.

I also find people are intimidated to prepare this dish at home.  Let me assure you, risotto just takes a little attention and the patience to stand in your kitchen for half an hour so you can add liquid to a pot and stir; not overly difficult.

My suggestion is to put on your favorite album and by the time you are half way through it, dinner will be ready.  The Chronic or 36 Chambers are both excellent choices.

Included below is a risotto recipe courtesy of The Refined Chef.  It is a play on seafood risotto using Lobster Mushrooms (and while not actually mushrooms, they are dense and have the coloring of lobster.)  The broth that is absorbed into the arborio rice is a well balanced mix of mushroom stock, white wine and clam juice.

Editors note:  If you want to impress a date, go with this recipe.

Lobster Mushroom Risotto

Lobster Mushroom Risotto

Serving size: 2
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup aborio rice
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup clam stock
1 cup lobster mushroom stock (see directions below)
1/2 cup white wine – Chardonnay
1 cup white onion – chopped
2 garlic gloves – chopped
1 cup rehydrated lobster mushrooms – chopped
1/4 parsley – finely chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Rehydrating Lobster Mushrooms:
In a small bowl add 2 cups cold water and 3-4 oz of dried lobster mushrooms. Mix everything around with your hands. Allow to soak for about 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms (but keep water.) Add mushrooms to a strainer and thoroughly rinse (make sure all dirt is gone.) Roughly chop and set aside. With a coffee filter or fine cheese cloth, strain 1 cup of mushroom stock and set aside.

Risotto:
Add one cup of dried aborio rice into a bowl. Add water and then gently pour out the water (do not lose the rice). Repeat one time. You are just trying to get some of the extra starch out of the rice. Set aside.
In a pot or dutch oven, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Heat on medium for about 1 minute. Add chopped onion and cook for about 3 minutes until translucent. Do not brown. Add chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Keep heat on medium to low.

Add aborio rice and cook for about 3 minutes until the rice starts to get a little sheen. Do not brown.

Add one cup of clam stock. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally to allow the rice to start absorbing the liquid. Add one cup of lobster mushroom stock. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add one cup chicken stock and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add ½ cup white wine (Chardonnay.) Cook for 3-5 minutes. Add chopped lobster mushroom when there is about 10 minutes of cooking time left. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Be careful with the salt because the stock and clam broth has salt in it already. You can always add more salt later. Stir to incorporate. When there is 2 minutes left, add ¼ cup finely chopped parsley and ¼ cup shredded parmesan. Stir to incorporate.

Do not cook until all liquid is absorbed. Cook until there is just a little liquid left and turn off heat. You want to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. The little liquid that is left will absorb on it’s own.
Note – It is important to keep stirring the rice as it cooks. The 5 minute cooking time when adding liquid can vary. Once the liquid is about half absorbed, you can add the next liquid.

To plate:
Add half the risotto to each bowl. Top with a little parsley and shredded parmesan. Add additional freshly cracked pepper if desired.

More delicious risotto recipes on The Refined Chef

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