1 cup of arborio rice
1 pound of wild mushrooms (crimini, oyster & portabella mushrooms)
1 container of stock (about 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of white wine
fresh herbs (thyme, sage & rosemary)
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons butter
I'm not gonna lie, making risotto is not the easiest dish to prepare. Only because it needs lots of love and care for about an hour. So if you have a leisurely afternoon dedicated to cooking. This is when you should make risotto. I worked at an Italian wine bar for 2 and half years. Every night there was a different type of risotto made for Arancini (delicious deep fried risotto balls stuffed with cheese) I made risotto once with the owner/chef Vito. Who is from the region of Basilicata in Italy. Though I have seen Risotto made tons of times, I rarely have the time to make it. Its labor intensive but well worth it. Its indulgent and not something you could eat everyday. I was really shocked at just how delicious this turned out, as I have only made it a handful of times and I just winged it. Put some love into making your risotto and you will be very very happy. I picked up some gorgeous wild mushrooms from the Union Square Farmer's Market and fresh herbs. Risotto is super versatile and can be made with whatever vegetable is in season, seafood or meat, whichever cheese you like, red or white wine.
First thing is to roast your mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wipe any access dirt on the mushrooms with a damp cloth. You never want to rinse or soak mushrooms because they absorb whatever liquid you put them in. They will become waterlogged and soggy. Slice mushrooms into pieces of similar sizes about 1/4 of an inch. Place on a non stick sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil. Place a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary. A few garlic cloves and season with sea salt. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Checking on them regularly and turning them. You want them tender and slightly crispy on the edges.
After you have placed your mushrooms in the oven. Take a large deep saute pan and put two tablespoons of butter. On low heat melt the butter and add a minced shallot. Add a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary. After shallots are tender, add a cup of arborio rice. Saute for about 3 minutes and add a cup of wine. Stirring often, the hardest part is stirring and stirring and never stop stirring for about 30 min. Slowly add in warm stock about 4 cups. Add it about a quarter cup at a time and once its dissolved add more, always stirring. Meanwhile when you have a minute in between check your mushrooms. When they are finished place aside, take the roasted garlic cloves and put into the risotto mix.
When you have finished all the stock your risotto should be rich and thick. Add a 1/4 cup of cream and mix well. Finish with freshly grated Parmesan, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Place risotto in a bowl and place the wild mushrooms on top. Grate a few more shavings of Parmesan and a touch of truffle salt to taste. It's worth the sweat and hard work I promise. Serve with a salad or your favorite vegetable. I made a salad of red oak lettuce with a herb lemon vinaigrette. They went well together because the acidity from the salad cut the richness of the risotto. Perfect. My boyfriend really really loved it.