Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Wild Mushroom Risotto

I always think of risottos as largely unhealthy and to eat only now and again, as I always thought they had a lot of Parmesan cheese in them. Recently I've been told otherwise and that cheese is not used that often and so when searching through my food bible “Good Housekeeping Cookery Book, published by Good Housekeeping Institute, I came across a great one called Wild Mushroom Risotto.

This is a simple vegetarian dish that would keep meat eaters happy because of the fleshy mushrooms. It's also very simple to make, although tiring on the arms, unless your ambidextrous and can stir with both arms.

I have slightly modified the recipe from the book by using some dried mushrooms and using the excess mushroom liquid as part of the vegetable stock. Be careful when pouring the mushroom liquid as there is always dirt and grit at the bottom of the bowl.

  • 5g/¼oz dried mushrooms
  • 6tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2tsp chopped thyme, plus sprigs to garnish
  • 1tsp lemon zest
  • 350g/12oz arborio rice
  • 150ml/¼ pint dry white wine
  • 900ml/1½ pints vegetable stock
  • 450g/1lb mixed fresh mushrooms, such portabello, oyster shitake slice if large
  • 1tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to season
  • (serve 4 as starter or 2 as main but large)

Place the dried mushrooms into a small bowl and pour over some boiling water to cover all the mushrooms and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes.

Place half the olive oil into a frying pan and gently heat adding the shallots, garlic, thyme and lemon zest and fry for about 5 minutes or until they are softened

Add the rice and stir for 1 minute, add the wine and bring to the boil and reduce until the wine has almost evaporated. Ensure the vegetable stock, with the mushroom liquid, is in a separate pan and on a gentle heat.

Take a ladle of stock and add it to the rice stirring continuously until the stock has almost been absorbed. Then add another ladleful, continue you this until all the liquid has been used up and the rice is tender but with a little bite, Test the rice after 15 minutes, but it will take about 20 minutes and one aching arm. The rice should be soft with a little bite.

5 minutes before the rice is ready, heat the remaining oil into a large pan and stir fry the mushrooms, on a high heat, for about 4-5 minutes.

When the rice is ready add the mushrooms to the rice and stir together. Throw in the parsley and add any seasoning as required and serve. Be careful with the salt as most vegetable stock have a lot of salt already in them.

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