Contestants on reality food shows are always making risottos and are always getting kicked off for their risottos. I feel like it gives risotto a bad rap for the home cook, scaring us all off from ever trying to make it ourselves. Perhaps it is all part of a bigger conspiracy to get us to eat out at fancy restaurants more often that serve things like risotto. Making risotto takes some love and patience, but it can totally be made by an average home cook. Now, if I were making risotto for 100 guests on some food competition it would be difficult simply because a large batch would be insane. Hopefully you as a home cook won’t be cooking for 100. A regular-sized batch shouldn’t be a problem, and hopefully it won’t be getting you booted from your home.
Now, I’m an absolute sucker for mushrooms, so of course my favorite kind of risotto to make is going to be a classic mushroom risotto. It is creamy, and full of the wonderful earthy flavors of mushroom.
Time to Make It: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs mushrooms, thinly sliced (use any combination of portobellos, white, or cremini)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and saute the mushrooms until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set them aside for now.
3. In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute the shallots for a minute or two and then add in the rice. Sprinkle on a little salt for seasoning. Toast the rice in the olive oil for about 3 minutes.
4. Pour in 1/2 cup of the simmering chicken broth at a time to the rice skillet. It should pop and sizzle and the rice will absorb the liquid. Stir, stir, stir. Stirring consistently will help the rice cook evenly. Turn the heat down to medium and keeping adding liquid 1/2 cup at a time. Once the liquid gets absorbed, add more. It should take about 30 minutes to add the entire 6 cups of chicken broth.
5. Once all the liquid has been used, stir in the mushrooms, the butter, and the parmesan. Taste, and adjust the seasonings (salt and pepper) as desired.