Friday, January 22, 2010

Taking the Fear out of Risotto (Shitake-Parmesan Risotto)

Are you intimidated by risotto? You see all those fancy chefs making it, you hear about it in fancy restaurants that I can't afford to eat in, it's ALWAYS on those cooking shows as a staple of haute cuisine. I'm here to say: There's nothing to be afraid of!!!!! It's easy. Scouts honor!

A little hint first: if you see a recipe for risotto that calls for shallots never fear. Just use an onion. Shallots are just fancy little tiny purplish onions. Use the same amount of onion!

Basic Ingredients:
1 cup of arborio rice
2 Tbsn olive oil
2 Tbsn butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups stock (you can use vegetable or chicken stock. You can mix either with water like 1 1/2 cups stock and 1 1/2 cups water)

Extra Ingredients: (and you can experiment once you learn the basics)
3 Shitake mushrooms, chopped(I used dehydrated, reconstituted in water and use the soaking water with the broth for cooking)
1 Tbsn white wine
2 Tbsn grated Parmesan


Saute onions and mushrooms in the olive oil and butter for 5 minutes. Add rice, stir it around to get it coated with the oils and onions for 2 minutes, add 1 cup of liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed (rice will start to look creamy). Add another cup of liquid, stirring constantly until absorbed again. Add last cup of liquid, 1 Tbsn of wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Remove from heat.

Add Parmesan cheese, stir it up, and set it to the side, covered, for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Now serve and enjoy!!

Wow! That seemed WAY too easy didn't it?? What the heck were we so afraid of??