Happy February! It was just Groundhog Day. Did the little guy see his shadow in your area? This has always confused me because if he sees his shadow and gets scared, he goes back into his burrow and we have 6 more weeks of winter (therefore, no early spring). That puts spring at about mid-March, which, if you live in Wisconsin IS an early spring! And people wonder why Wisconsin is the largest consumer of brandy in the nation.
But really, ever since Bill Murray did the movie “Groundhog day” it’s a term associated with living the same day over and over. So that made me think of what foods I go to over and over. One of those dishes is Mushroom Risotto. I love to have it as a vegetarian main dish. And The Carnivore enjoys it as a side. Win-win!
At first, risotto can seem intimidating, but it’s really not that difficult. And, once you get the hang of it, it’s easily customized with other vegetables, as you prefer. The most important thing to remember is to start heating your broth before anything else, because you’ll be adding this slowly to the rice. At that time, you’ll want the broth to be hot already.
This recipe, found at gooddinnermom.com, starts with mushrooms, of course. NEW: It’s the first time I heard of “dry sautéing” mushrooms, but once I tried it I was hooked. So easy!
Just heat your skillet and throw in sliced mushrooms. They‘ll begin to release their juices while cooking, thereby eliminating the use of oil.
Continue to cook the mushrooms, adding a little salt, until all liquid is absorbed and the mushrooms are browned. Remove the mushrooms from the pan.
With the mushrooms to the side, add oil to the pan followed by the shallots. Cook for about a minute then add the rice and stir until the rice is coated in oil, about 2 minutes. Add a little white wine (apple juice works also) and let that absorb. Now it’s time to start adding the broth.
I keep the broth simmering in a small saucepan right behind my skillet and use a metal measuring cup to scoop ½ to ¾ a cup at a time into the skillet. With each addition, the rice is stirred until all the liquid is absorbed. Then add another portion of broth. Note: At first, the liquid absorbs quickly. But as the rice swells it takes a little longer each time to absorb more broth. The whole process should take about 20 minutes.
At this point, turn off the heat and add back the mushrooms. If you want a vegan meal, stop here and enjoy.
For non-vegans: Add the butter, parsley and Parmesan and stir to combine.
- 6 cups broth chicken or vegetable
- 1 to 2 pounds mushrooms I use a mix of cremini and white button
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2-3 shallots diced
- 1½ cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup white wine or apple juice
- 3 TB parsley or chives chopped
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 TB butter
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese more or less to taste
- In a small saucepan heat the broth over medium heat.
- Heat a large skillet to high heat. Add mushrooms to dry skillet and stir as the mushrooms release their juices. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue to stir until the juice starts to be absorbed and the mushrooms are brown. Sprinkle with a dash of salt. Once all the liquid is absorbed, remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add about one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.
- Stir in the shallots and cook for about a minute, until they begin to soften. Add rice and cook, stirring to coat with oil, for about two minutes.
- Pour in the wine and stir until the wine is completely absorbed.
- Return heat to medium-high and using a measuring cup or mug add ½ to ¾ cup of broth to the rice. Stir until all the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth one scoop at a time, ensuring all liquid is absorbed before adding more. Once almost all the broth is added, turn the heat down to medium. After about 20 minutes, the rice will be done and all liquid should be absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add butter, parsley and cheese.
This Mushroom Risotto is irresistible!