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Martha's Wild Mushroom Risotto

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasArchive
Recipe Category: Side Dish
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate

    Risotto is often perceived as an intimidating endeavor. From the taste alone-the rich, deep flavor and velvety texture of the al dente rice in a thick sauce-it's an easy assumption to make. But there aren't any special tricks involved; this recipe only requires the right type of rice, a selection of good ingredients, and a watchful, attentive eye. Be certain you use an Italian medium-grain rice such as Arborio or Carnaroli; these rices contain a starch that adds thickness and creaminess to the mixture as it cooks. And listen as carefully as you watch: You need to stir constantly and wait for the rice to emit a clicking sound, indicating that it's time to add more liquid.

    Wild Mushroom Risotto
    Serves 4
    If you prefer a more subtle mushroom flavor, omit the dried mushrooms, and add two more ounces of fresh mushrooms.

    6 to 8 cups low-sodium canned or homemade chicken or veal stock
    1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as porcini
    9 ounces assorted fresh wild mushrooms
    7 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
    1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
    1/2 cup white wine
    4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for grating or shaving
    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    1. Heat stock in pan over medium heat. Add dried mushrooms; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; finely chop. Keep stock at a simmer over medium heat.

    2. Remove stems from fresh mushrooms; chop finely. Slice caps 1/4 inch thick. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add mushroom caps; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl. To pan, add remaining 6 tablespoons oil, mushroom stems, and shallots. Cook, stirring, until translucent. Add rice; cook, stirring, until rice begins to sound like glass beads, 3 to 4 minutes.

    3. Add wine. Cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed by rice. Using a ladle, add 3/4 cup hot stock to rice. Using a wooden spoon, stir rice constantly, at a moderate speed. When rice has absorbed most but not all of liquid and mixture is just thick enough to leave a clear wake behind the spoon when stirring, add another 3/4 cup stock.

    4. Continue adding stock in this manner, stirring constantly, until rice is mostly translucent but still opaque in center. Continue cooking until rice is al dente, but not crunchy. As rice nears doneness, watch carefully; add smaller amounts of liquid. The mixture should be thick enough that grains are suspended in liquid the consistency of heavy cream. The risotto will thicken slightly when removed from heat.

    5. Add dried mushrooms and mushroom caps; warm. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Divide among four bowls; grate Parmesan over risotto. Serve immediately.

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