Tag Archives: creamy risotto

Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto

21 Jan

Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto

It’s been way, way too long since I’ve posted.  First it was finals, then a new kitten (check after the jump for super adorable kitten pics) and the holidays and moot court brief writing, then we went on our belated honeymoon to Toronto, then it was a mad rush to finish our brief, and then classes started and I went back to work and we started oral argument practice for moot court … basically, life happened.  And unlike my usual “life happened” scenario, this one did not involve cooking.  Zak took the reins in the kitchen because I was often home late or eating at one of the few options around school as my teammates and I were locked in the moot court room brief writing until midnight or later (basically, a lot of Subway and a couple times of treating ourselves to pizza and salad or burgers when the thought of another six inch sub made us want to cry).  I actually made this a week or so ago, because risotto is perfect to make when you want something mindless but wonderfully satisfying.  I stood by the stove, reading other competitor’s briefs and stirring, stirring, stirring until the risotto was as creamy as could be, then added some mushrooms and … yum.  A nice bowl of simple comfort food, with a hint of red wine flavor lurking behind the umami of the mushrooms and herbiness of tarragon and rosemary.

Normally, I am not quite as fastidious about stirring when I make risotto as I was this time, and in retrospect I regret it.  This was absolutely divine because it was super, super creamy.  Since I have no shame, I will admit to you that I actually licked my bowl.

Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto

1 1/2 cups red wine

4 cups water

1 cup tarragon, on the stem

2-3 sprigs rosemary, on the stem

4-5 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

Salt and pepper

1 cup arborio rice

2-3 tbs. olive oil

8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced

2 tbs. butter

Parmesan cheese, to taste

In a medium sauce pan, combine red wine, tarragon, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to a simmer.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Once shimmering, add arborio rice.  Cook, stirring frequently, until rice is opaque.  Reduce heat to low.

1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time, add in red wine and herb mixture.  Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until liquid is nearly absorbed.  Repeat, stirring continuously or very frequently, for about 30-45 minutes, until rice is creamy and nearly cooked through.

In a medium sauté pan, add butter.  Melt over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Pour, with any excess liquid, into the risotto.  Stir to combine, and continue cooking risotto by adding liquid and stirring, until rice is cooked through.

Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Mushroom and Roasted Broccoli Risotto

13 Nov

Sorry for the prolonged absence, ladies and gentleman.  School is really kicking my ass right now, and it’s about to get worse.  Having evening classes three days a week has really detracted from cooking new and fun things to share with you all.  Zak has been a beast in the kitchen, making everything from his own spin on mujaddara to a whole grilled mackerel.  Last night, after coming home in the freezing rain from grocery shopping, I just wanted to crack open a beer and do something in the kitchen.  Risotto is perfect for those evenings – it takes a lot of attention, but it’s totally mindless attention.  I pulled up the current chapter of (my second read through of) Game of Thrones, preheated the oven, put some stock on to simmer, and spent the next forty five minutes reading, stirring, ladling, and over all unwinding.

The pay off was huge.  Comforting, creamy, flavorful risotto is the perfect fall or winter meal.  It’s filling and can be gussied up with any vegetables or add-ins you choose.  The caramelized broccoli worked beautifully with the sharp cheddar cheese and rich, unctuous homemade beef stock.  It also reheats really well, either on the stove top (add a few extra tablespoons of stock or water) or in the microwave.

Mushroom and Roasted Broccoli Risotto

8 cups homemade beef stock

1 large sprig fresh tarragon

2 tbs. butter, divided

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

2 cups arborio rice

1/4 cup dry vermouth

1/4 cup milk

1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

3 tbs. olive oil

1 head broccoli, chopped into florets, stalks discarded (about 2 cups florets)

 Preheat oven to 400°.

In a medium stock pot, bring beef stock and tarragon sprig to a simmer.  Cover and reduce heat to low to maintain a simmer.

In a large, shallow sauté pan, melt 1 tbs. butter over medium heat.  Add onion season with salt.  Cook until translucent, stirring a couple times to ensure even cooking.  Add mushroom and season with a bit more salt.  Cook until slightly golden brown.

Using a wooden spoon, push all the vegetables to one side of the pan.  Add arborio rice and toast 1-3 minutes until just starting to turn opaque.  Mix together the vegetables and rice, and deglaze the pan with vermouth.  Cook over medium heat until vermouth is mostly evaporated.

Add one ladle (about 3/4 cup) of beef stock.  Stir vigorously.  Stirring almost continuously, allowing thirty second breaks every now and again, until beef stock is mostly absorbed.  Add another ladle of stock, and continue to stir.

On one of your short breaks in stirring in the first few rounds, toss broccoli florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a tinfoil lined baked sheet.

Transfer to oven and bake 20-25 minutes until cooked through and caramelized.  If the risotto isn’t done, reduce oven to warm or lowest heat setting to keep warm.

Continue to repeat process of adding stock and stirring the risotto.  The risotto should be expanding and starch should be coming off the grains, making the mixture seem creamy.  After about 45 minutes, when risotto is creamy and last stock is almost totally absorbed, add remaining tbs. of butter.  Stir to combine.  Add milk and stir to combine.  Stir continuously about one minute, until milk begins to evaporate.  Let simmer untouched a minute or so before continuing to stir another minute or two.  Once milk is about half evaporated, add cheese and stir to combine.

Serve in a bowl, topped with a handful of broccoli florets.

Lemon-Vegetable Risotto

6 Jul

This creamy risotto was colorful, flavorful, and full of good-for-you vegetables.  The lemon flavor was very pronounced and brightened up the whole dish to transform this risotto to a summer-appropriate dish.  I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light, swapping out several of the vegetables in the original recipe for what I had on hand and was freshest.  I was very impressed with the variation in texture from the slightly crisp carrots to the ultra-creamy Arborio rice.  The real tricks here are almost constantly stirring the risotto to release the starch of the rice, never allowing the rice to become overly dry or overly soupy, and adding the butter and cheese at the end for a creamy finish.

Lemon-Vegetable Risotto

Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2011 edition

1 tbs. olive oil

2-3 cloves heirloom garlic

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

1/2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ slices

1/2 cup sliced crimini mushrooms

1 small carrot, peeled and diced

5 cups homemade chicken stock

 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice

1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1 tsp. lemon zest, grated

1 lemon, juiced

1 tbs. unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil to pan and heat.  Add zucchini, carrot, mushrooms and whites and light green parts of green onion.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 10-15 seconds.  Use a slotted spoon to remove vegetables from heat.  Set aside.

If necessary, add another splash of olive oil to the same cast iron skillet in which vegetables were cooked over medium heat.  Add rice and cook for 2-4 minutes until very slightly golden brown.  Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds.  Stir in another cup of broth.  Cook 5-7 minutes until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring almost constantly.  Reserving at least 1/4 cup broth, add remaining broth 1 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly.  Wait until each portion of broth is nearly absorbed before adding next batch.

Stir in the vegetables.  Cook 2-3 minutes until thoroughly heated.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of broth, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, greens from green onions and butter.  Taste for seasonings and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper as necessary.

Creamy Risotto

27 Aug

Zak and I are both big fans of risotto.  Yes, the process is fairly labor intensive.  Despite that, the final result is well worth standing in front of your stove for forty minutes or so stirring.  I usually stand at the stove with a book and stir when the whim strikes me.  The frequent or constant stirring of the risotto helps to release the starches in the arborio rice, which is what gives risotto the creamy texture that distinguishes from other varietals of rice.  This particular risotto is decadently creamy and delicious.  To be fair, though, I haven’t met a risotto I didn’t like, and ingredients can easily be substituted based on what you have on hand.  I recommend, however, that you use a good stock while making risotto rather than something boxed or simple water.  The rice really draws in the flavor of the stock, and without a decent stock base, the recipe will fall flat.

Creamy Risotto

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbs. olive oil

3/4 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)

6-8 cups homemade chicken stock

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

3/4 cup freshly grated Jarlsberg cheese

1 tbs. butter

1 tsp. dried parsley, for garnish

Combine homemade chicken stock and basil in a medium stock pot or sauce pan.  Cover and bring to a low simmer.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add sliced shallots, mushrooms and garlic and sauté until mushrooms and garlic are a light golden brown and shallots are slightly caramelized, roughly 10 minutes.  Add arborio rice and sauté until lightly golden brown.  Add white wine to pan, stirring, and simmer until wine is absorbed.  Slowly, one cup at a time, add the simmering stock.  Stir frequently.  As each cup of stock is completely or nearly completely absorbed, add another cup of stock, continuing to stir.  Cook, slowly adding stock and frequently stirring, until rice is al dente or to taste.  This will take roughly 25-35 minutes.  Once final cup of stock is almost totally absorbed, stir in grated Jarlsberg cheese and butter.  Combine thoroughly and serve with dried parsley as garnish.

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