Sunday, April 8, 2012

Recipe - Mushroom Risotto

Aaaa... My beloved gluten free blog, how I've missed you so. Life is busy, life is short, life is sweet but still filled with love every day. Today is the start of a 3day weekend off from work, life, daily stresses, the outside world. Dear hubby and I went out to do what we needed to today and will now spend the remaining time today and the next 2 days staying inside with nothing more to do then spend time relaxing. playing with games and computer, being with each other and of course being able to finally cook again at my pace.

Although this recipe is not from any time recently, I will have to make it again soon I think as it has been a very long time indeed since I have made risotto from scratch.

This recipe is a bit time consuming because it requires you stand there stirring, adding liquid often and just generally keeping an eye on things but the time vs the result are very much worth it!

This recipe originated is again from my beloved Jamie Oliver and his 30min meals collection but it is my own twist on it. Risotto rice + mushrooms = a perfect gluten free dish as long as you are a lover of mushrooms such as myself and dear hubby.

Tip #1 - Please do not use just plain white button mushrooms... although these are nice on themselves for things such as salads and perhaps even eggs, this recipe needs a very full flavoured mushroom such as oyster, sataki, or chestnut.

Tip #2 - There are a LOT of rices to choose from and they all serve a special purpose so choosing the correct rice for the dish you are making is vital. In this recipe you need to look for risotto rice. Every rice is grown different, is different and is processed different for this reason.

Copied From Wiki About Rice In General
A high-starch (amylopectin), low-amylose round medium- or short- grain rice is usually used to make risotto. Such rices have the ability to absorb liquids and to release starch and so they are stickier than the long grain varieties. The principal varieties used in Italy are Arborio, Baldo, Carnaroli, Padano, Roma, and Vialone Nano. Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are considered to be the best (and most expensive) varieties, with different users preferring one over the other. They have slightly different properties. For example, Carnaroli is less likely than Vialone Nano to get overcooked, but the latter, being smaller, cooks faster and absorbs condiments better. Other varieties like Roma, Baldo, Ribe and Originario may be used but will not have the creaminess of the traditional dish. These varieties are considered better for soups and other non-risotto rice dishes and for making sweet rice desserts. Rice designations of Superfino, Semifino and Fino refer to the size and shape (specifically the length and the narrowness) of the grains, and not the quality.
 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
 1/2 to 1 cup white wine
 3-4 cups mixed mushrooms, cleaned & roughly chopped (I used oyster, chestnut and mini sataki) (see tip #1)
 2 tbs cold butter
 1 small onion, finely chopped
 2 cups risotto rice (see tip #2)
 ♥ 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
 1 small onion, finely chopped
 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or even crushed
 1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)
 1/2 cup to 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
 2-3 tbs butter
 freshly cracked pepper to taste

Pre-heat a large skillet pan (something that can with stand a medium-high heat for around 20-30minutes) over a medium-high heat with 2tbs olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent and tender.

Add risotto rice and saute until rice starts to turn a light golden brown.

Add wine and let cook until absorbed... keep stirring lightly to ensure you don't burn anything.

This is where this recipe gets a bit time consuming. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock at a time to your rice mixture and stir as often as you can. The secret to a good vs great risotto is how well you work your rice to make it release it's starch! When all liquid is absorbed from each addition continue adding 1/2 cup at a time until you've added 3 cups in total.

When adding that almost 3rd cup of stock, add 1 cup of your mushroom mixture and 1 sprig worth of fresh thyme along with it. Place the rest of your mushrooms in a small oven proof dish and turn your oven on broiler/grill setting. Add a few pats of butter (the 2 tbs cold butter) throughout the reserved mushrooms and add another sprig worth of fresh thyme over it. Place in your broiler/grill until tender (about 10mins at most). Don't forget about these lovelies while you are continuing with the risotto mix. 

Continue adding 1/2 cup of stock and stirring as much as you can until you've used all stock and your rice is tender. Don't be afraid to TEST YOUR RICE! You want a soft texture while still having just a slight bite left to it. Over done risotto is just as bad as under cooked. If you want to make great dishes, you have to be willing to taste them throughout for their readiness and their seasoning. If you don't know what your food tastes like, how do you expect to know if it's good enough to serve or even eat yourself?

When you have added enough liquid and have the rice cooked to a soft texture, remove from heat and stir in butter until melted throughout and then add the cheese, again mixing until well combined.

Serve this risotto while it's still hot and creamy. Spoon over some of the grilled mushroom mixture and if desired sprinkle with a bit of extra cheese.

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